Stupid Age, Vegan Firefighters & Ed Hardy’s Fur Drama

April 28, 2009

1. The Age of Stupid. Oscar-nominated Pete Postlethwaite (In The Name of the Father, Brassed Off) stars as a man living alone in the devasted world of 2055, looking back at “archive” footage from 2007 and asking: why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

2. High-tops from TOPMAN. These killer sneaks are all synthetic, textile, and poly.

RETRO BLUE BASKETBALL BOOTSRETRO BASKETBALL BOOTS

RETRO BASKETBALL BOOTSGREEN HI-TOP BOOTS

Portrait of Rip

3. If you think you’re too manly to eat a plant-based diet, you’ve got another thing coming. The Engine 2 Diet, a 28 day total-body overhaul, is based on a crew of real Texas firefighters who took control of their health:

Image of the book coverProfessional athlete-turned-firefighter Rip Esselstyn is used to responding to emergencies. So, when he learned that some of his fellow Engine 2 firefighters in Austin, TX, were in dire physical condition-several had dangerously high cholesterol levels (the highest was 344!)- he sprang into action and created a life-saving plan for the firehouse. By following Rip’s program, everyone lost weight (some more than 20 lbs.), lowered their cholesterol (Mr. 344’s dropped to 196), and improved their overall health. Now, Rip outlines his proven plan in this book. With Rip as your expert coach and motivator, you’ll transform your body and lifestyle in a month. His plant-powered eating plan is based on a diet of whole foods, including vegetables, whole grains, fruit, legumes, seeds and nuts. – http://www.theengine2diet.com

Look out soon for my interview with author Rip Esselstyn!

4. Ed Hardy says Eff fur! He got a hand from HSUS to stop licensee’s from using fur on products with his name and art on them. Read the Full Article

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5. Meat The Truth. Finally a documentary that fills in the giant void left by Al Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Truth’ – the reality that meat production is the top global warming offender! The trailer:

Meat the TruthYou can order the film on Amazon.Click here to order your copy now!


Knightly Knit, Cookie Pies & Music You Must

December 15, 2008
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The folks at Sound Fix, a music boutique in Williamsburg, Brooklyn – know more about good music than all of the professors at Juilliard, combined. It could be that they are located in the same spot that almost every good band has their practice spaces, or it could be that they just rule. Sound Fix has just released their top 50 albums of the year, and if you want to be in audio-bliss for the next year, you’ll get some of these albums. From Bon Iver, Crystal Castles, and MGMT – to Girl Talk and Herculues and the Love Affair – you may not have heard of them, but once you do, you’ll wonder where they were all your life.
Organic Cotton Knit Bonnet from Earth @ KAIGHT. Photo © Matt Lara

Two caps, one pup. Photo © Matt Lara

I enjoyed two caps the other day, a soy cappuccino from Gimme! Coffee – probably the best espresso ever,  and a naturally dyed cotton knit cap made by the elusive Filipino designer, Eairth from Kaight. Enzo my lil’ rescued pup (thanks to sugarmutts.org) is sporting his “Have a Heart” anti-fur pin. Believe me, it’s much more effective on him. Especially when we’re walking and I offer him up to the fur-clad :  “would you like to anally electrocute him and add a few extra inches to your coat?

Little Enzo

RECIPE: Cookie Pies!

Easy Cookie Pies!

Easy Cookie Pies! © Discerning Brute 2008

These cookies are perfect for the holidays. Add anything you want to the center! Chocolate, marzipan, jam, pumpkin pie mix, peanut butter, or even leave the sugar out and go for a savory mini pastry with mashed potato, tampenade, or a chunk of marinated seitan in the center!

What you’ll need (makes 2 dozen):
• 2/3 cup non-hydrogenated,vegan margerine or shortening (Earthbalance or Spectrum is great!)
• 1/4 cup coconut oil
• 2 tblsp  sunflower seed butter
• 1/3 cup organic brown sugar
• 2/3 cup unrefined, organic sugar
• 1 tblsp vanilla extract (you can also use almond or coconut)
• 1/4 cup egg replacer (Energie is great!)
• 1tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
• 2-3 cups all purpose organic, unbleached flour

Directions:
1. In a mixer, or with a fork, combine chilled margarine/shortening, coconut oil, sugar, vanilla, egg replacer, and sunflower seed butter.
2. Once it is creamy, add the baking powder and vinegar. It should start fizzing a bit.
3. Slowly mix in the flower until it is like play-dough, dry enough so it doesn’t stick to your fingers too much, but moist enough to roll out. Usually it’s 2.5 cups. For chewier cookies, add more flour. For crispier, add less.
4. Roll out to 1/4 inch thick on a floured pastry sheet or wax paper.
5. Using a circular cookie cutter, and a smaller circle (you can even use a bottle cap for the hole) make a solid base, and doughnut shaped top.
6. Place your base on an ungreased cookie sheet, add your filling, then place the top on!
7. bake on 350 for about 15-20 minutes or until golden.




Organic Menswear, KFC Victory & Action Alert!

June 5, 2008

1. Organic, Fair-Trade Certified Menswear from Across the Pond!
By Nature has a few great mens’ items like this beige polo, the red check shirt, and the dark brown button-down!

Machja - Ombro Polo

Gossypium - Wine Vichy Checked Shirt


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4. Howies makes sharp organic & recycled menswear!
Howies, another UK-based company, makes recycled-poly board-shorts, organic hoodies, organic jeans, and everything else you can think of. This is a great find!

DylanRest Bay

SparkyUtility Hoody
StrumbleTimber Jean

EdwynPd Polo


3. PETA declares victory in Canada KFC campaign!

KFCCruelty Billboard 1

PETA has won a major battle in its efforts to stop the worst abuses of chickens by KFC. KFC Canada has agreed to a historic animal welfare plan that will improve conditions for millions of birds. However, the decision makers that run KFC in other countries are allowing the worst cruelty to continue. KFC Canada has agreed to a historic new animal welfare plan that will dramatically improve the lives and deaths of millions of chickens killed for KFC Canada. The company will take the following actions:

  • Phase in purchases of 100 percent of its chickens from suppliers that use controlled-atmosphere killing (CAK)—the least cruel form of poultry slaughter ever developed. KFC Canada is the first major restaurant chain to commit to phasing in the exclusive purchasing of chicken meat from CAK slaughterhouses.
  • Add a vegan faux-chicken item to the menu of all 461 Priszm-owned KFC restaurants (more than half of all the KFCs in Canada).
  • Improve its animal welfare audit criteria to reduce the number of broken bones and other injuries suffered by birds.
  • Urge its suppliers to adopt better practices, including improved lighting, lower stocking density and ammonia levels, and a phaseout of growth-promoting drugs and breeding practices that painfully cripple chickens.
  • Form an animal welfare advisory panel to monitor the changes and recommend further advancements.

Order a Free ‘Vegetarian Starter Kit

3. ACTION ALERT!

The Humane Society of the United States

A bill now before the U.S. Senate will fund cruel, indiscriminate killing programs on our nation’s wildlife refuges. H.R. 767, the Refuge Ecology Protection, Assistance, and Immediate Response (REPAIR) Act, flewYakama horses through the U.S. House of Representatives because it was promoted as an invasive plant eradication bill. In truth, the bill would allocate millions of dollars to fund expensive, unwarranted and inhumane killing programs — targeting feral cats, free-roaming dogs, wild horses, and any other unwanted animal species. We need your help to halt this short-sighted legislation. There are better ways to solve conflicts with animal species, and if passed by the Senate, the REPAIR Act would ignore common-sense, humane approaches, in favor of lethal killing.


Downed Animals & Organic Dress-Shirts

May 1, 2008

1. Today, and all this week are National Call-In Days for Downed Farm Animals! The recent Human Society undercover investigation of the cruel treatment of cows at a California slaughter plant has sparked renewed attention to the downer issue, with several Congressional hearings and bills introduced. Now it’s essential that we keep Congress focused on the issue and ensure they take action.

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At the California slaughter plant, “downed” animals — those too sick or injured to stand and walk on their own — were prodded with electric shocks, dragged with chains, rammed with forklifts, and subjected to other egregious abuse in efforts to forcibly move them to slaughter. Downed animals may also be left to languish without food, water, or veterinary care, and they are at a higher risk of carrying harmful diseases.

The following bills have already been introduced and others are in the works:

Downed Animal and Food Safety Protection Act (H.R. 661/S. 394) to ban slaughter of downed livestock and require their immediate humane euthanasia.

Downed Animal Enforcement Act (S. 2770) to ban slaughter of downed livestock and establish stricter penalties for violations of the downer ban and humane slaughter law.

Food Safety Recall Information Act (H.R. 5762) to require release of names of retailers and school districts that purchased meat, poultry, or egg products subject to recall, and ban slaughter of downed livestock.

TAKE ACTION

When you call, you will speak to a staff member who will pass your message along to your legislator. Remember to be polite and professional, and leave your name and address so it is clear that you are a constituent.

Please call your U.S. Representative.

FIND YOUR REPRESENTATIVES HERE
You can say:
“Hello, my name is [your name] and I’m calling from [your town] to urge Representative Maloney to do everything possible to enact legislation to protect downed animals — including H.R. 661, the Downed Animal and Food Safety Protection Act, and H.R. 5762, the Food Safety Recall Information Act. It’s time to ensure that animals unable to stand are humanely euthanized and do not enter the food supply. Thank you.”

• Please call Your Senator

FIND YOUR SENATORS’ CONTACT INFO HERE
You can say:
“Hello, my name is [your name] and I’m calling from [your town] to urge [senator’s name] to do everything possible to enact legislation to protect downed animals — including S. 394, the Downed Animal and Food Safety Protection Act, and S. 2770, the Downed Animal Enforcement Act. It’s time to ensure that animals unable to stand are humanely euthanized and do not enter the food supply. Thank you.”

HSUS is tracking the impact of your calls, so click here to let us know you called your legislators:

• Finally, please tell all of your friends and family to call their legislators today and throughout this week.

2. Organic Dress Shirts

A lot of you have asked for resources on standard organic dress shirts, so here ye, here ye! These are some styles from Organic and Arbitrage.

(Above: Arbitrage, designed to benefit charity: water, an organization that provides clean, safe drinking water to people in the developing world by constructing freshwater wells. For each shirt purchased, Saks will donate $25 to charity: water.)


Total Recall

February 22, 2008
Beef?

An historical event has transpired – for the first time ever, undercover footage recorded by a Humane Society investigator has grabbed headlines nationwide. This has resulted in the largest recall of beef in US history – 143 million pounds, and has exposed horrible cruelties that, while commonplace, were shocking and new to anyone who has never seen the underbelly of factory farming. Trying to make sense of them is another story.The coverage that this undercover video-clip received nationwide, and the beef recall itself, were both watersheds. If you haven’t seen the clip, please watch below:

For more of the footage click HERE

Meat-eating has always been associated with manliness in our culture. Traditionally, the pHunterredatory nature of hunting required physical strength, stamina, tool-making, and often hours to days of tracking herds. Then there was the kill; the bloody and exhausting act of taking down large animals, cutting them up and bringing them home. Many anthropologists and primatologists argue that meat was a pivotal way to exert social control in the form of currency due to its desirability. While women may have collected most gatherer-hunter protein sources, we should not ignore the fact that men were able to use meat for their own selfish and manipulative political ends. It’s no surprise then, that thousands of years later, most men still identify with this nearly-universal symbol of masculine social and political power, though they rarely grasp why. What does this beef recall and the surrounding events say about us if real men eat meat?You Like Meat

Vegetarianism is often portrayed as weak, emasculating, and undesirable, although more and more men are realizing that a vegetable-based diet is healthier and better for the earth, and that the reality of their bond with meat is now relatively invalid. While meat is rarely necessary for survival in modern times, most advertising geared toward mainstream men still appeals to his hunter roots – to his very primal, instinctual brain. If the disconnect here is not apparent with the merciless cruelty shown in the video above, it might bring clarity to know that this is by no means an isolated incident. This is something that is commonplace from chicken farms to circuses to laboratories. These sweeping abuses of animals showcases a crippling and epidemic -sized inability to empathize, and a desire to play out those primal tendencies to control something so politically defining and powerful.

On farms worldwide, untold cruelties are trespassed. The video shows Hallmark Meat Packing Co. workers administering repeated electricDowned Cow shocks to downed cows — animals that are too sick, weak or otherwise unable to stand on their own. Workers are seen kicking cows, jabbing them near their eyes, ramming them with a forklift and shooting high-intensity water up their noses in an effort to force them to their feet for slaughter.Typically, the media shies away from showing footage of animal cruelty, despite the frequency of incidents like these in many industries, because it is believed that viewers will change the channel. However, if you tuned into your local news almost anywhere in the country in the last few days, it was impossible to miss it as news stations everywhere spent several minutes on this headlining story, shocking viewers – and raising many questions. The president of HMP published this statement on the meat company’s website.

“…Words cannot accurately express how shocked and horrified I was at the depictions contained on the video that was taken by an individual who worked at our facility from October 3 thru November 14, 2007. We have taken swift action regarding the two employees identified on the video and have already implemented aggressive measures to ensure all employees follow our humane handling policies and procedures. We are also cooperating with the USDA investigators on the allegations of inhumane handling treatment which is a serious breech of our company’s policies and training... ” – Steve Mendell, President Westland Meat Co. Hallmark Meat Packing

Go VegThis statement is an expected cliché and completely fails to elucidate the incident. In an industry where living, feeling, animals are reduced to mere economic units, it is no surprise that profit-seeking businesses end up treating animals in this way. The huge demand for meat results in an immense pressure to raise, exploit, and kill animals in such massive quantities that no dream of the resources required to produce “humane meat” could ever exist to satisfy the grotesque amount of meat consumption that occurs in the US. In addition, this immense demand requires assembly line killing, and any extra care taken or ‘downer’ incidentals means profit-loss. It’s an out-and-out contradiction to claim that any meat-production facility could sustain ‘humane’ policies. Less torturous, maybe, but never humane.

I am an AnimalExpect to see many, many more videos like this reaching the mainstream media, now that the barrier has been broken. Organizations like HSUS, PETA, and Farm Sanctuary continually send undercover investigators to work at these facilities and expose horrible cruelties. Now it seems many more investigations, like the Butterball Turkey Investigation showcased in the HBO documentary “I Am An Animal” will reach more viewers.

The Humane Society says the video was shot last year by an undercover investigator . Investigators like these, who wear a hidden camera under their clothes and work at the facilities, risk their safety and deserve our praise.

If you want to get involved, but need some motivation, visit GoVeg.com, and watch ‘Earthlings’ starring the Discerning Brute, Joaquin Phoenix: