EAT LIKE A MAN.

August 11, 2009

Esquire1

I just finished devouring a plate of char-lined, grilled sweet corn smothered with pico de gallo oil, mashed herbed potatoes with wild mushroom gravy, and grilled apple-sage grain-sausage kebabs with shallots, apple cubes, zucchini and smokey maple barbecue sauce. The protein, vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates and phytochemicals are all  surging through my bloodstream, replenishing, building muscle, and sustaining my bones, organs and various tissues – especially the defining male appendage that requires clear, healthy veins and arteries to stand at attention. This is not enough, however, to keep me from being emasculated by my meal.

HowMenEat

Growing up, and even as adults, we are often told to do certain things “like men”. Be EatLikeManNotRabbita man! Act like a man! This phenomenon can basically be summarized as a call to toughen up, hide or mask any sort of sensitivity, and show no signs of weakness. I’ve seen a father reprimand his son for crying over a scraped knee, “Stop crying! Be a man!” I’ve heard the story of a friend who, at six years old, stood sobbing, finger on the trigger, as his father whispered coldly in his ear “Just shoot the goddamn deer. Don’t you wanna be a man?” Stoicism – that invaluable Greek paragon of virtue, could be one of the most sought-after states of existence for the civilized man. Unaffected, unreadable – perpetually poker-faced and methodically effective. And so we must “eat like men“, too.

Doing it like rabbits” flatters a man’s virility, yet eating a diet that supports that same rabbit’s virility is lampooned.

How do rabbits eat? They carefully chew Vegetation. Strangely, no man scoffs at being compared to a rabbit when it comes to sex. “Doing it like rabbits” flatters a man’s virility, yet eating a diet that supports that same rabbit’s virility is lampooned. Instead, we consume entire animals with superstitious hopes of appropriating their strengths. The cover of September 2009’s Esquire Magazine proclaims “Eat Like A Man” and leads to a  sixteen-page cover-story entitled “How Men Eat”. It is a total meat-fest. A cheesy, eggy, frat party wrapped in bacon and bathed in blood. From Coca-Cola Brined Chicken to a three-meat-plus-bones gravy, and even to Jujubes:

“People Whine about some of them being made from dead horses… but they don’t know the Jujube eater’s darkest secret: By consuming dead horses we’re taking their power and virility and making it our own. Eating Jujubes is like eating powdered rhino horn or seal penis without any of the messy sociopolitical ramifications or bureaucratic hassle. Look! It’s just candy…. a candy that can be eaten in pin-drop quiet… without recrimination from wives or healthniks… We’ll eat our jujubes…in determined silence, growing ever stronger, until one day we will rise with the thunder of a thousand of those same dead horses, our bellies hard-packed with their souls and gelatin and out teeth stained by their blood, and we will trample your pesticide-free fields, an army of raging stallions once again. – Chris Jones “The Only Candy A Man Should Eat” Esquire Magazine Sept 2009

So many men are afraid of being seen as compassionate. Because, on a deep level, it’s logic and objectivism that are truly put at risk by emotion – and thus, control itself. At least, this is what is conventionally perceived. Emotions are a far cry from being logical – they can’t be measured or mapped. There is no emotional stock market or well-being index; how would one measure compassion, love, hatred or indifference? As for our food, animals can not be seen by most men as sentient beings – they are units of production; being such they able to be controlled and manipulated, stripped of identity, wholly consumed.Picture 1

Vegetarianism may occupy the moral high ground, but among men it’s regarded as, if not a girl thing, then at least a girlie thing — an anemic regimen for sensitive souls subsisting on rabbit food and tofurkey. Meanwhile, meat eating persists as a badge of masculinity, as if muscle contained a generous helping of testosterone, with the aggression required to slay a mammal working its way up the food chain” – Holly Brubach New York Times Blog, 9/3/2008

Is masculinity a roadblock to sustainability? Compassion, mercy, empathy and the like are all red flags, warning others that you cave in under the weight of empathy.  Following through and getting the job done are put at serious risk when emotions are added into the equation.  Men so often strive to be emotionless in this culture – because a man’s worth is measured by his ability to get the job done. Shoot the animal. Bring home the bread. Launch the missle. Cut open the cat’s head to observe, objectively, the workings therein. Of course women also participate in these activities – on a smaller scale – but living in a patriarchal culture places the source of power in the traditional definitions of masculinity. Few would argue that the stereotype of women as being more in touch with emotions is based in total fallacy, and few would argue that feminists fight incredibly against the discriminatory belief that emotion is a detriment to effectiveness.campbells_soup_formenonly_1940s1

Mean eat power. They eat the things that they hope to be: muscle. It is a delusional relationship, and a destructive one at that. To worsen matters, diets heavy in meat and dairy have been linked to erectile dysfunction. Now that’s not too manly. What is manly, is becoming the hero who considers the personal and global implications of raising and consuming animals for food, and who acts to do something about it.

Allan Benton of Smokey Moutain Country Hams (in his interview with Esquire) lastly remarks as a punch line, ” I take my Crestor like everybody else.” Not me Allan. Not me.


Earth Day, Shmerth Day!

April 22, 2009

Last year, we highlighted 3 Earth Day Doozies: the Holocene Extinction Event, the Overpopulation, Meat, and Food Crisis problems, and the problem of Greenwashing:

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We all know that recycling and changing light-bulbs is not going to solve the ecological crises we face. So why does every media organization keep feeding us this crap? And why is going vegan not on any list of “10 simple things you can do…blah blah“? If raising livestock is the #1 cause of Global Warming, the most effective thing we can do is go vegan! Duh. Check out these charts from Scientific American.

Slideshow

Slideshow

In addition to being the leading cause of global warming – according to Farm Sanctuary:

Inevitably, intensive animal agriculture depletes valuable natural resources. Instead of being eaten by people, the vast majority of grain harvested in the U.S. is fed to farm animals. This wasteful and inefficient practice has forced agribusiness to exploit vast stretches of land. Forests, wetlands, and other natural ecosystems and wildlife habitats have been decimated and turned into crop and grazing land. Scarce fossil fuels, groundwater, and topsoil resources which took millenium to develop are now disappearing.

Eating 1 lb. of meat emits the same amount of greenhouse gasses as driving an SUV 40 miles.Meanwhile, the quantity of waste produced by farm animals in the U.S. is more than 130 times greater than that produced by humans. Agricultural runoff has killed millions of fish, and is the main reason why 60% of America’s rivers and streams are “impaired”. In states with concentrated animal agriculture, the waterways have become rife with pfiesteria bacteria. In addition to killing fish, pfiesteria causes open sores, nausea, memory loss, fatigue and disorientation in humans. Even groundwater, which takes thousands of years to restore, is being contaminated. For example, the aquifer under the San Bernadino Dairy Preserve in southern California contains more nitrates and other pollutants than water coming from sewage treatment plants.



McQueen, A Bag, & The Humane Myth

January 20, 2009

Alexander McQueen’s nineteenth-century aristocracy inspired Fall 09 collection is handsome, no doubt. Even the models’ makeup made them appear to be walking out of old, sepia photographs. While the garments were technically gorgeous -slender suits, jackets and coats with utilitarian embellishments, and just enough decoration – the sheer amount of fur, leather, and wool used to make them puts Alex’s lack of accountability and textile resourcefulness in the same century he is trying to depict. Can you image how amazing this collection would be if it were made from organics, recycled fabrics, and animal-free materials, but looked the same? It would be visionary. Sadly, we are almost a decade into the 21st century and we still have designers like McQueen who can’t seem to combine their amazing talent with any vision for a sustainable civilization or future where we don’t enslave and torture animals for textiles. Can someone get this man an eco-fabrics directory?

“Humane” meat and dairyHumaneMyth.org aims to take on the greenwashing behind many of the producers who want you to think they are killing with kindness.

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Humane myth. An idea being propagated by the animal-using industry and some animal protection organizations that it is possible to use and kill animals in a manner that can be fairly described as respectful or compassionate or humane.”


Bourgeois Boheme’s Callum bag is the perfect courier. Faux leather, canvass, and handsome striped lining!

BoBo Callum - Black


Fresh Friday Finds

May 8, 2008

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1. Vegan Marshmallow Kits have landed (in your mailbox)!
Our friend Amy, at the VegCookingBlog tells of a New Zealand company that sells vegan marshmallow kits. Use them to make sticky cubes, crispy treats, smores, or meringue topping! Just in time for summertime campfire-roasting! If you are not a fan of DIY Marshmallowing, Sweet & Sarah offers a selection of dangerously deliciousvegan rice crispie treats, smores and vegan marshmallows fluffy treats.

You all know what’s in conventional marshmallows, right? If not, prepare yourself for a major gross-out. The gelatin you eat in Marshmallows, Jell-O, and other “treats” comes from cow and pig bones, hooves, and connective tissues.

2. Gridthrifter
Gridskipper offers up a thrifting guide for any city you choose! Here is New York’s Top 7 vintage voyages. My addition to the list is Houndstooth, who has amazing vintage menswear. The 1930s undies in my Time Out New York Spread are from the stylish Michael Kimmins & Maria Chavez. Know of a good menswear thrifting spot? Drop me a note and your review!

Screaming MimiBuffalo Exchange

Beacon's Closet

3. Honeybee Aftershave Aftershave for Men by Honeybee Gardens
With a select blend of herbs, essential oils and cooling aloe vera, this cruelty-free aftershave is a fantastic way to soothe newly shaven skin and relieve irritation. Available HERE.

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4. Simple Slip-On
Simple has designed a shoe using recycled bicycle tires & car tires, as well as hemp, organic cotton, recycled PET, 100% post-consumer recycled paper, and no animal products. Available at:

Alternative Outfitters - One-stop vegan boutique selling stylish leather alternatives and cruelty-free products.

5. Mystery Meat Macrophotography

Mike Adams is a photographer who has taken a series of photos of common processed meats at ever increasing magnifications. If you weren’t grossed out by mystery-meat before, bring a barf bag on this photo tour:

6. For Whom Eight Bells Toll
In the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, Eight Belles ran for her life and was fiercely whipped as she came down the final stretch, when she was no doubt already in a great deal of pain. Like 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, she was destroyed because of her racing injuries, caused by the greed that motivates this dirty “sport.”Eight Belles was yet another victim of the cruel horse racing industry, where animals suffer and die for the sake of sport and entertainment. Like many other horses, she was literally “raced to death”. What you can do to help.

7.Mission Playground

Mission Playground is an AFFORDABLE organic clothing company with the mission to create awareness through environmentally conscious and globally mindful designs. They use organic, recycled, and eco fibers and vocally oppose sweatshops. Their aesthetic is western-urban – not my favorite, but some dudes will dig it!

8. Fresh Direct Just Got Veggier!
Whether you’re lazy or so busy you can’t cook a decent meal (and Instead of corner-store comestibles), FreshDirect, a leading online gourmet food purveyors and delivery service, announced last week the launch of their very first line of vegetarian & vegan 4-Minute Meals.

FreshDirect’s EatingWell menu includes:
— Hoppin’ John with Vegetarian Chorizo (Vegan) — $7.99
— Indian-Spiced Lentil & Quinoa Ragout with Roasted Vegetables (Vegan) — $7.99
— Balsamic-Roasted Seitan with Beets, Basil & Farro Pilaf (Vegan) — $7.99
— White Beans, Pearl Pasta & Artichokes with Roasted Tomatoes & Rapini (Vegan) — $7.99

9. Smell Ya’ Later
The range of mens scents at The Body Shop are totally vegan, and totally affordable!

Kistna Eau de Toilette White Musk for Men Eau de Toilette Of A Man Eau de ToiletteMade With Passion

https://i2.wp.com/www.powells.com/cgi-bin/imageDB.cgi10. Farm Sanctuary’s Gene Baur in Park Slope, Friday, May 16th
I recently had the pleasure of brunching at Bliss with Gene Baur. Thanks to SUPERVEGAN, Folks who missed Farm Sanctuary‘s inspiring founder and Discerning Brute, Gene Baur during his first NYC book tour stop can catch up with him on the eve of the Farm Sanctuary 2008 Gala, Friday, May 16th, at Community Bookstore of Park Slope. Baur will read from and sign copies of bestselling and acclaimed book, Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food.

Friday, May 16th. 7:30pm. Free. Community Bookstore, 143 Seventh Avenue (between Carroll and Garfield), Brooklyn!


No Mushrooms in Fiore

May 4, 2008

*UPDATE* FOX News… I mean New York Magazine (I kid, I kid) Food Bloggers had their (inaccurate) fun with this entry. Truth be told, Fiore is a decent, affordable restaurant in my hood – I just wish they had a few more options for conscientious eaters and that they dealt with customer feedback in a more positive way. ‘Nuff said…

I attended a birthday dinner at a new Italian place, Fiore, in Brooklyn. I was shocked to find that thefiore-small.jpg only vegan options were salad, and the spaghetti with tomato sauce entreé. In New York City – especially in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I expect the restaurants to not only be smart enough to cater to the burgeoning vegan population (if not simply as an intelligent financial decision), but to be sensitive to general customer feedback of informed customers. After my meal of pasta and salad, I kindly suggested to a manager that, “my meal was tasty, and it would be fantastic if you added a few more vegan options to the menu – like a grilled portabello cap, or mushroom ravioli, or pasta primavera.” With all of the amazing vegan sausages and meat alternatives, dairy alternatives and veg-friendliness of traditional Italian food in general, I expected anything but the response I got. Not “thanks for the feedback” or “we value our customers, so we’ll see what we can do”. In a defensive tone, she said: “Portobellos cause cancer”. What? Excuse me? In an establishment serving up tons of conventional, hormone-ridden, pesticide-pumped ribs, beef, chicken, lamb, cheese, and butter – you’re telling me that portobello mushrooms cause cancer? Needless to say, I was so caught off guard that I was at a loss for words.

After a few hours of research, I’ve discovered that this is total nonsense, of course. Not only that, but the Stanford Cancer Center has recipes for portobellos on their website. Go figure. In fact, mushrooms contain selenium, potassium, copper, and B-complex vitamins, and are purported to have anti-cancer properties. Vegans have been shown to have 40% less chance of getting cancer, and meat and dairy products have been shown to cause cancer. There are mushrooms, that if eaten raw, have certain carcinogenic toxins (that cook or wash off). My only explanation for this ridiculous response of hers is that she was so offended by my vegan request that she said the first terrible thing that came to her mind.

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So in the spirit of the slandered portobello, I give you a plethora of mushroom recipes from our friends at Post Punk Kitchen:



A Discerning Brute: Gene Baur

March 14, 2008
Gene Baur

When I attended the NYC launch of Gene Baur’s national book tour, I didn’t expect to be fed amazing food from Candle 79, mingle with Moby and other smart celebs, and have fuel added to the fire of my passion for animal advocacy while listening to Gene read from his book.Farm Sanctuary continues to be this Discerning Brute’s favorite animal advocacy organization (especially since I make routine trips to their sanctuaries to hang with the animals!). I met Gene for the first time last fall in LA at their star-studded Gala.

Gene, Coral Smith, Billy McNamara, Joshua Katcher
Gene Baur, Coral Smith (MTV’s Real World), Billy McNamara, Joshua Katcher

Twenty years ago, Gene started Farm Sanctuary with meager resources, and today it is the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization. Farm Sanctuary has worked to expose and stop cruel practices of the “food animal” industry through research and investigations, legal and institutional reforms, public awareness projects, youth education, and direct rescue and refuge efforts. Farm Sanctuary shelters in Watkins Glen, N.Y., and Orland, Calif., provide lifelong care for hundreds of rescued animals, who have become ambassadors for farm animals everywhere by educating visitors about the realities of factory farming. Additional information can be found at www.farmsanctuary.org.

Attend the Book Tour:
Click HERE for a list of cities and dates. Gene Baur’s national book tour is scheduled to visit cities across the country to promote the book and share his experiences from more than 20 years on the front lines of the animal protection movement. He will explore the ethical questions involved in the production of beef, poultry, pork, milk, and eggs and address the systematic mistreatment of 10 billion farm animals who are exploited specifically for food every year in the U.S.

Buy the Book: 100 percent of author proceeds will be donated to Farm Sanctuary. Click Click Here.

Wine & Dine in NYC with Gene, Celebs, the Ethically Fabulous, and Yours Truly:
Farm Sanctuary will be hosting its next Gala for Farm Animals on Saturday, May 17, 2008 in New York at Cipriani Wall Street! For more information on this event, please visit the Gala website.

Gala


Are you an artist or crafts-person? Want to donate a farm-animal related item to the Auction?

At the past auctions, Fred Willard, Deborah Skelton, Emily Deschanel, Alicia Silverstone, Dennis Kucinich, Paul Reuben, Moby, and hordes of other amazing people bid on artwork from huge atists like Peter Max and Sue Coe, and artists just like you! Farm Sanctuary’s Gala auction raises over $50,000 for farm animals in need. This crucial fundraising effort is only possible thanks to the generosity of artists and other contributors. For information about contributing to the Gala auction click here, or contact Chloe Jo Berman at 212-989-8482 or cberman@farmsanctuary.org.

DB’s Etiquette Recommendation: Book parties are great places to meet people who have similar interests, so show up and look like you mean it! If you come to the NYC gala, and want to hang out with me, drop me a line! Don’t forget to get a nice eco-friendly suit from one of the many designers listed in the right (or just get one from your local thrift store)!


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: