Blinded by the Lite-Green

October 27, 2009

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https://i1.wp.com/livingincinema.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/No-Impact-Man-OS-Large.jpgWould it shock you to find out that even if you adopted the No-Impact-Man lifestyle and created zero waste, and you even convinced your local businesses to recycle you’d only, at the most, impact waste by 3% ? What if you discovered that 90% of all water used was coming from agriculture and industry and that taking longer showers really has minimal effects on water consumption? I tell you one thing, I’d shift my focus from turning the water off while I brushed my teeth to stopping the largest offenders. Any strategist would tell us the same thing: when it comes to saving the environment from “ourselves”, a lot of us are wasting our good intentions on a misguided idea that it is truly ourselves (individual “consumers”) who are ultimately responsible for these problems. Ideas and films like No Impact Man shift focus away from the real causes of global environmental crisis and allow industry and government to slide by, unnoticed.

The truth is so much scarier, and it’s easy to see why we have retreated to personal solutions; it’s easier to change a light-bulb than bring a multinational corporation or the military to its knees. So in the end, while we can all pat ourselves on the back from a puritanical perspective, many of us are just running around doing a lot of nothing under the impression we’ve used our time and energy wisely. I was so offended when I first looked into this. I didn’t want to believe that all that effort I made in my personal lifestyle choices were ultimately having very little impact on the problem at large. I didn’t want to admit that my efforts would be better leveraged in other areas.

Lite Green is the most mainstream, most digestible, and most corporate-friendly incarnation of the environmental movement (if you even want to call it that). Bright Green, with celeb advocates like Adrian Grenier, proclaim that, sure, you can drive your H2 through the McDonald’s drive-through, so long as you remember to bring your canvas bag and reusable coffee mug. It’s the movement that allows us to believe the contradiction that we can buy our way out of the hugest crises we face. Bright Green is so bright it’s blinding people to the real problems. In his August 2009 article for Orion Magazine, “Forget Shorter Showers” Author, Derrick Jensen asks:

WOULD ANY SANE PERSON think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday, or that chopping wood and carrying water would have gotten people out of Tsarist prisons, or that dancing naked around a fire would have helped put in place the Voting Rights Act of 1957 or the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Then why now, with all the world at stake, do so many people retreat into these entirely personal “solutions”?

Part of the problem is that we’ve been victims of a campaign of systematic misdirection. Consumer culture and the capitalist mindset have taught us to substitute acts of personal consumption (or enlightenment) for organized political resistance. An Inconvenient Truth helped raise consciousness about global warming. But did you notice that all of the solutions presented had to do with personal consumption—changing light bulbs, inflating tires, driving half as much—and had nothing to do with shifting power away from corporations, or stopping the growth economy that is destroying the planet? Even if every person in the United States did everything the movie suggested, U.S. carbon emissions would fall by only 22 percent. Scientific consensus is that emissions must be reduced by at least 75 percent worldwide.

The values of conserving, reusing, and protecting what’s left are amazing, but if we are to solve the ecological and social problems we face, they must be brought their their logical conclusions. This is not a call to stop caring or to stop living simply with more compassion – it’s a call to shift focus away from what industry wants us to focus on – buying more stuff that’s labeled “green” and filling our days with behavioral rules. Let’s not confuse personal choices and social change or political revolution. Let’s start with reclaiming our time and energy and shifting our focus to the real problems, getting together, and doing something about it.


Supra Duper, NHLV Gala, Veggie Conquest 3!

October 19, 2009

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Discerning Brute Contributor, Troy Farmer points us to the new Holiday ‘09 Vegan Pack from Supra Footwear – featuring the Dixon, Thunder Lo, Thunder and the Diablo 1.5,  wearing 100% canvas uppers and done up in a variety of colorways. thunder / s38005blk

2009 GalaCome party with me at the New York League of Humane Voters Gala in NYC on November 12 at six o’clock in the evening at the famous Prince George Ballroom, 15 E. 27th Street (between Madison & Fifth Avenues). Featuring Keynote speaker NYS Governor David A. Paterson.

Celebrity guests include GirlieGirl Army’s Chloe Jo Berman, Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary founders Jenny Brown and Doug Abel, “Super Size Me” co-star and author Alex Jamieson,  ”Discerning Brute” Joshua Katcher, author & political guru Julie Lewin, world-renowned artist Peter Max, ”Bizarro” comic creator Dan Piraro, rapper Princess Superstar, actress and author Ally Sheedy, singer/songwriter Rachel Trachtenburg, CNN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell and ”Whale Wars” star Captain Paul Watson.

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I will be your Emcee!

Don’t miss your chance to buy tickets to the 3rd Veggie Conquest! Or enter to be a competitor! Conquest 1 and 2 were completely sold out, and this one should be even better! Please get your tickets early. THEY WILL SELL OUT!! You must buy your tickets here.

Veggie conquest 3 will take place at Not Fade Away Gallery, in Union Square, NYC. They will have a very special second course at VC#3. Match Meats has shipped our volunteers a whole freezer full of vegan meats to try.


55 Bottle Bags, Marshmallow Ghosts & New Laws

October 14, 2009

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Check this gorgeous “Kenner” bag from Matt & Nat, made from 100% recycled materials. Get it now at mattandnat.com for $255

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Sweet & Sara is Perfect for Halloween! The scariest thing about most marshmallows is that they are made of the boiled hooves, cartlige, skin and tendons from animals. Boo!

But guess what? These fluffy spirits from Sweet & Sara are made of their 100% vegan vanilla marshmallow, with chocolate detailing. We can’t wait to see what else they come up with. I heard a rumor about vegan peeps!

Progress Made: Two New Laws to Protect Farm Animals

Thanks to Farm Sanctuary, The Michigan Humane Society, and The Humane Society of the United States Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a bill which will ban tail docking by the California dairy industry and Governor Jennifer Granholm of Michigan has just signed legislation to ban cruel battery cages, gestation crates and veal crates in her state. California is the first state to ban the tail docking of dairy cows. Michigan is now the second state to ban battery cages, following the example set by California last year with the passage of Proposition 2. It is also the fifth state to ban veal crates and the seventh to ban gestation crates.


DBTV: Girlie Girl & The Brute at The Green Shows, Pt 3

September 28, 2009

Vodpod videos no longer available.

This is the third part of our series on the Green Shows for Fashion Week in NYC. Featuring author, model, and activist Summer Rayne Oakes, designers Johanna Hofring & Tor Soderin of Ekovaruhuset (House of Organic), and John Masters of John Masters Organics.

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DBTV: Tarkan Interview at NYC Fashion Week

September 23, 2009

WEB2Tarkan might not yet be a household name in the United States, but with his forthcoming album – star studded with collaborations featuring some of the hottest US artists, it soon will be unforgettable. In Europe, Russia, and especially Turkey, the press has compared his effect to that of Elvis’ on the US in the 1950s. Tarkan, famous for his spellbinding performances, is an award winning German-born, Turkish pop-singer known as the “prince of pop” by the media on the other side of the Atlantic. He has several multi-platinum selling records, with a total of over 15 million albums sold.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

WEB14Check out my interview with Tarkan at the Emilie Humanitary fundraiser at Fashion Week in NYC where we discuss his humanitarian, environmental, and animal causes in addition to music such as his fighting of a controversial dam in Turkey and his collaboration with PETA to help animals like strays in Turkey and those typically used in the fur industry.

Tarkan was confronted by PETA in 2008 for wearing fur on the cover of his album. Once he learned of the plight of fur-bearing animals, he made an apology and has sworn it off. He also really enjoyed the Dr. Cow’s vegan cheese I gave him, and I hope to get the opportunity to prepare him a full vegan meal soon!


Local Myth, Man-Boob Billboard & Walking For Farm Animals

September 9, 2009

It turns out that omnivorous locavores may be bending over backwards for no reason if their goals are environmental. Read the Forbes article that takes the meat out of the locavore argument and puts the emphasis right back on the largest single contributor to greenhouse gas emissions: meat and dairy. But we know that already, right? There’s nothing green about local bacon aside from the greenwashing in which it’s packaged. It’s almost as bad as the “humane slaughter” myth.

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Sometimes all you need is a simple, organic cotton tee in a few colors to take your wardrobe to the next level. Logos, silkscreen graphics and band names can distract from the main attraction: you. Alternative Apparel has crew neck and v-neck tees in every damn color.

PETA recently took some heat for asking us to save some whales – from blubber. Women went nuts when PETA put up a billboard saying that adopting a vegetarian diet can lead to weight loss, and now they are going after the guys! So what do you think? Offensive or crafty?Moobs

Meatloaf is not just for meat-eaters. With 33g of protein per serving, Field Roast’s Classic Meat Loaf packs some serious muscle. Order it online or check your local retailer.

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Walk like a man. We often hear about all the things we should do “like men“. But now, you can really walk like a man, by raising money to benefit Farm Sanctuary! Click HERE to see all the walk dates and locations.

To raise funds in person, please use the Offline Donation Form. You’ll need to bring the completed form and any donations with you the day of the Walk. If you can’t make it and want to sponsor someone, like our friend Gretchen or Dave, or simply donate, please do that too!

Thanks to our friend Ari, who is often a guest columnist on GGA, and who owns the snarky, yummy vegan, soy-candle company A Scent of Scandal forwarded locavore and man-boob articles.


Egg Farm Investigation Bombshell

September 6, 2009

On Tuesday, September 1st, Mercy For Animals broke its most recent undercover investigation – exposing chicks being thrown, dropped, hung, mutilated without painkillers, and ground-up alive at the world’s largest egg industry hatchery. Take a look at what goes on in typical egg farms all across the world. Over a million people have logged onto YouTube to view the heart-wrenching hidden camera footage – making it Wednesday’s #2 most “viral” video on the entire Internet:

Following the release of the undercover footage to the Associated Press, and three news conferences in Iowa, the shocking video depicting male chicks being torn apart in a massive grinder has made headlines around the world. From Cleveland to China, Austin to Australia, consumers around the globe have been given an eye-opening look into the cruel and violent truth behind the modern egg industry.

Citing the troubling findings of this investigation, Mercy For Animals is calling on the nation’s 50 largest grocery chains to require that all eggs sold in their stores bear a label reading, “Warning: Male chicks are ground-up alive by the egg industry.”

DB SAYS: Like the cows’ milk industry, there are costs of producing eggs. Male chicks are useless and make no money for the chicken or egg industry. Female cows need to be impregnated to produce milk, and the male calves, being equally useless, are turned into veal. Anyone who thinks that no one gets hurt in the commercial producing of eggs and milk is gravely mistaken.


Television stories covering the investigation, such as the Associated Press, CBS, Fox, and local ABC stations are bringing the issue of factory farm cruelty into the living rooms of families across the country.

With over 500 news stories on MFA’s investigation, one of the egg industry’s best-kept secrets – that over 200 million “useless” male chicks are killed each year – is finally being brought into the public consciousness.

Comment boards, Twitter accounts, and blogs around the world have been filled with words of outrage from consumers about the abuse.

And in the last few days, MFA received hundreds of Vegetarian Starter Kit requests from compassionate consumers who wish to no longer support the cruelty perpetuated by the egg industry.

Click here to read what some (former egg) consumers are saying.

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to help us expand our investigative work.