August 3, 2009

Congratulations to Ralph Kelleners of Belgium. He is The Discerning Brute July Contest winner! We challenged our readers to take a photograph of themselves that demonstrates how they speak up on behalf of animals, people, or the environment! Here is our winner:

 Ralph Kelleners


We thank him so much for the work he does on behalf of animals. The picture he submitted (above) shows how he raises awareness about painful and outdated experiments that companies like Proctor & Gamble continue to conduct on animals like rabbits.

Enjoy the organic cotton, French terry cardigan from COVET , worth $110 USD.

And thank you to all of our readers who entered for all of the amazing work you do! We are truly inspired.

Film Fundraiser at The Peter Max Studio w/ Amazing Food & Celeb Guests!

June 6, 2009

I am embarking upon the production of a feature documentary film called “Standardized Testing” in collaboration with Kelly Overton of PATH (People Protecting Animals & Their Habitats).

Picture 1

This pioneering, controversial and hilarious film follows PATH founder Kelly Overton, an overachieving activist who has degrees from Harvard, Tulane, Columbia and UMASS, as he attempts to return his diplomas and get his tuition refunded in an effort to bring attention to the dangerous and wasteful biomedical research being done at the universities.

https://i0.wp.com/www.michaelarnoldart.com/max_peter_love.jpgIn order to begin production on the film, the legendary artist Peter Max (http://www.petermax.com/) and activist Mary Max (http://www.kindgreenplanet.org/) have offered to host a production launch party – featuring food, drink, and special celebrity guests!

To purchase tickets, click here:




Special guests include: Golden Girl – Rue McClanahan, Actress -Ally Sheedy, International Phenomenon- Princess Superstar, CNN Commentator -Jane Velez-Mitchell, Glamazon Lifestyle Guru- Chloé Jo Berman, Healthy Chef – Alexandra Jamieson, and yours truly, The Discerning Brute- Joshua Katcher. More special guests to be announced!


Featuring food & drink from 4 Course Vegan, Candle Cafe, Vegan Treats Bakery, Tuthilltown Spirits and Blackwell’s Organic Gelato!
Tuthilltown Spiritshttps://i2.wp.com/njmonthly.com/downloads/1524/download/Gelato_600.jpg

VeganTreats4 Course Vegan

Candle cafe

Friday, June 19th 2009
6:30 to 8:30 pm
The Max Studio
37 West 65th Street, 7th Floor
New York City

I would love for you to join me, and tickets start at just $100, and all proceeds go to PATH’s efforts to produce the film.

  • $100 per individual ticket
  • $350 for ticket and signed & dedicated Peter Max poster
  • $1,000 for ticket and signed & dedicated Peter Max poster and signed & dedicated The Art of Peter Max book*

To purchase tickets, click here:

Pass the word on Facebook!

Ethical Exploits Vol. 2

May 22, 2009

The ups, downs, ins, outs, disappointments, and triumphs of a day-to-day ethical living.
By Featured Contributor, Matt Lara

There are a hundred-and-one reasons for guys to take care of their skin and hair, but so many of the products on the market are toxic, full of animal ingredients, or still perform horrible and needless tests on animals that it makes us want to give up grooming and be crust-punks!

Realizing that dreadlocks and gamy odors were not for me, I decided to do some overhaul in the grooming department. Bathroom shelf, meet your new cruelty-free, earth-conscious friends:

Triple RazorThe first to go was that turbo-thingy razor that came free in my mailbox after high school graduation. Instead of shoveling out big bucks for more tiny replacement cartridges that are made by a company burning the eyes and skin of rabbits, I happily spent my money on a new Preserve Triple Razor. The shave is just as good, and there are some other great things to consider about Preserve Products besides smooth cheeks. I also switched to lavender and shea Moisture Shave from Kiss My Face. Now everyone wants to kiss my face. Now if they’d only make something so everyone would kiss my ass…

Also, if you’re a manly-man like me and use manly-man things like toner, consider my other big switch in the grooming department: organic cotton balls. If you are not using a spray-toner, these are great! Are they cost-effective? With cotton being one of the most highly-sprayed crops, and the price the environment pays for our single-use puffs, yes they are worth the extra dollar or two. Plus, the quality is actually better, and you’ll like that for your hunky mug.

Organic Essentials Cotton Balls Triple Size

Revitalizing Eye Cream from Avalon Organics is one of my new staples. Say what you want, I’m conscious of my smile lines! I can still feel this stuff moisturizing and firming even at the end of my most tired days. I’m also a sucker for the Soothing Lip Balm for some smooth smackers without the girlie, glossy look.

I can think of so many uses for tea trea oil, and with Trader Joe’s putting it in shampoo, I am so there. Tea Tree Tingle is quite an experience with every wash. For styling, I find David Babaii for Wildaid to be wonderful. Their motto is “It’s beautiful to be good,” and I couldn’t agree more. 10% of their profits are donated to Wildaid to help with wildlife conservation. I use their Bohemian Beach Spray and the Fibers Molding Paste.

Fibers Molding Pastehttps://i1.wp.com/www.db4wildaid.com/images/products/lg_bohemian_beach_spray.jpg

There are several product lines like Organic Grooming by Herban Cowboy, and JASON which Joshua covered in THIS POST that make men’s grooming products, so check them out too!

Finally, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau has an excellent podcast episode dedicated to the compassionate bathroom. And hey, I didn’t buy all this stuff at once. Purchasing just one of these products is helping make for a more compassionate world.

Happy grooming!

-Matt Lara


Matt is an actor, singer, closet poet, dancer, avid reader, guitar picker, waiter, home cook, nosey coffee shop guy, animal lover…he basically has to know how to do everything. He lives in New York and Los Angeles.

Fresh Friday Finds

March 5, 2009

1. Viori’s Tees and Scarves, 100% US-grown organic cotton, water-based inks, made fairly in the USA.

Vuori Stone Scarf

2. NY Coalition for Healthy School Lunches is an organization that promotes plant-based farm-to-school nutritional and educational implementation. I had a chance to go eat a delicious, vegan meal with the kids in Harlem last week, and I have to say that the menu, which was designed by a collaboration between Candle 79 and the school, was really yummy! Find out how you can get involved by clicking below:


3. Reware’s JuiceBag ES300 Solar Messenger charges iPods, Cell Phones, GPS, Cameras, etc, and is made from recycled soda bottles.

4. Refinding’s reclaimed accessories, made from reclaimed materials like trading cards, nylon, matchbooks, and type-writer keys.

5. Abuse of Primates in Research Labs exposed on ABC’s NIGHTLINE. If you missed it on TV, read the article at change.org. Read also about why animal experimentation is so inneffective from a woman undergoing cancer treatment, and watch the Nightline video below:


6. Sameunderneath Knit Blazer  on Sale, 75% organic cotton, 25% polyester

7. HBO premieres the documentary “Death on a Factory Farm”. Get program schedule here. Watch a clip from the doc:

8. Of The Earth organic cotton hoodies.

9. Veg News weighs in on obstacles to estimating the number of veg kids. The CDC fails at surveying. Read the article:

10. Do you ever have a clogged drain and you end up buying the toxic, animal-tsted Draino? Finally there’s a pure, natural environmentally-friendly, enzyme-producing bacteria that liquefies grease, fats, and other organic wastes and controls odors in drains, garbage disposals, and septic systems. Earthworm! What’s best? It’s only five bucks at VeganStore.com.

Fresh Friday Finds

October 10, 2008

1. John Patrick Organic Spring 2009

John Patrick has done it again! As one of my favorite designers, his dreamy, bucolic, utopian vision came to life at the Desmond Tutu center in Chelsea last month. This American Gothic reminds us that our land-base in primary, and taking care of it (like using organic cotton, fair-labor, sustainable practices – developing sustainable cottage industries, and growing your own organic cotton in the jungles of Peru) is crucial. Click here to view the complete collection for men and women.

2. Vegetable-Based Leather is my bag, baby!
Vegetable-based ‘leather‘  made by Amazonian natives from sustainable plant matter, and recycled canvas from cargo trucks. Need I say more? The bags and accessories from Paz Apparel are hot, and I love this oversized “Uptown Handbag“. Thanks to reader, Ari for the tip-off!

$125, Paz Apparel

Also from Paz:

3. sea shepherd flag

One of DB’s favorite organizations, Sea Shepherd, will be featured in Animal Planet’s 7-episode special series “Whale Wars”. On Friday, November 7th Animal Planet will premiere Whale Wars at 9 PM ET/PT in the US, and internationally in early 2009. For additional information, photos and a sneak peak at the series go to:

4. Peter Singer is the Godfather…

Joshua & Peter Singer at Karen Dawn's event

I got the honor of meeting Peter Singer, father of the modern animal rights movement and author of “Animal Liberation” at a party for Karen Dawn’s (Dawnwatch) birthday and book reading. It’s not often you get to meet the person who set the new course for your life. I recommend reading both books!

When Purchasing Books, I also strongly recommend supporting local independent bookstores. Use Indiebound.org as opposed to the not-at-all-ethically-fabulous Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Do it!!!

Buy Thanking the Monkey now from Amazon

5. Autumn is in the Air

And so are these seasonal smells from DB friend, A Scent of Scandal! Check out: OLD SCHOOL  – granny smith, ROUGH PATCH – pumpkin, & TURNING TRICKS – candy corn.

6. Do Rabbits Scream?

Find out more about Armani on peta.org.

The answer is yes, and this new undercover video of rabbit fur farms in France and China is enough to make anyone give fur the cold shoulder. PETAs Armani campaign is in full swing. Get involved!

7. Shoes that will make you swoon
A little bird told me that Elizabeth Olsen (Olsen Haus), whose vegan shoe line is blowing up and selling out all over the place right now, will be making vegan shoes for men that are as equally badass as her womens’ shoes. And to get a taste of how she rolls, take a look at these:

(All I can say is that I am looking forward to dancing in some blue suede-like mens’ shoes.) More to come, stay tuned.

8. Home

In Defense of Animals is taking on Zappos‘ hairy sales, exposing outdated primate nicotine experiments,planning for Fur Free Friday, and standing up to Puppy Mills. Check out their campaigns and get involved!

thimble, a monkey orphaned by Spindel's experiments






9. Pick an Apple!

Get out of town before the season is over. If you haven’t been to the Hudson Valley in New York State for an autumn adventure, you don’t know what you’re missing! Click Here! or Here!

10. Party for the Pigs

Support Farm Sanctuary’s Party for the Pigs:
A benefit for the survivors of the Midwest flood disaster

In June of this year, Farm Sanctuary mobilized in Iowa to take part in one of the most ambitious farm animal rescues ever undertaken, after thousands of pigs were left to die in the Midwest flood disaster. During both land and water rescue operations, 69 pigs were rescued, including many pregnant sows who were once confined to gestation crates on factory farms. Now, these pigs, many of whom are still suffering from serious health problems, are at Farm Sanctuary receiving urgent care and undergoing rehabilitation.

On October 18, Farm Sanctuary will honor these survivors of the Midwest floods and raise critically needed funds for their care.

Please, help the pigs by attending the event or making a donation today!


Saturday, October 18, 6-9 p.m.
Equality Center
1640 Rhode Island Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C.


Persia White and Nellie McKay

A special performance by
Singer/songwriter and Broadway actress Nellie McKay

Vegan hors d’oeuvres, a wine and beer bar, and a silent auction

Cocktail attire requested

RSVP now or call 607-583-2225 ext 221 to reserve your space.
General admission tickets cost $50.

Guiltless Grooming

October 7, 2008
What are you doing in my bathroom?!

What are you doing in my bathroom?!

There are tons of cruelty-free and organic products out there for the ladies… but what about us guys? If we want to look, smell, and feel amazing without worrying about torturing rabbits, toxic ingredients, destroying ecosystems, or supporting valueless (and brainless) businesses, our grooming arsenals could look something like this. From recycled razors to eye drops, no animals were harmed in the creation of these products:

https://i1.wp.com/invironments-design.com/secure/images/products/1633.jpg M4Men Hair Removal Introductory Kit (MM) https://i1.wp.com/images.shopping.msn.com/img/2585/58/7/40692610.jpg https://i0.wp.com/beautywab.com/pomades-and-waxes1/pureology-u.jpg Florame Men’s Organic Eau de Toilette

https://i2.wp.com/www.besportier.com/archives/organic-grooming-herban-cowboy-dusk-deodorant.jpg https://i2.wp.com/images.luckyvitamin.com/mgen/merchandizer:59684.jpgWhite Musk® for Men Eau de ToiletteSplash 4 oz.

Whether you want to thicken some thinning hair, soak your contacts, regulate the PH balance of your skin, prevent or soothe razor bumps, zap zits, smell like autumn, straighten or style your curls, or control dandruff – there is no need to poison yourself, animals or the environment! Unfortunately, many companies continue to use outdated and cruel experiments that are completely unnecessary. Find out more here:

Caring Consumer


Also check out PETA2 for an extensive list of cruelty-free mens’ fragrances.

Wax Weather

September 29, 2008

Waxed canvas could be my favorite new fabric. It’s waterproof, wind resistant, supple, and shares many characteristics with leather (minus the whole killing-of-animals part). Autumn is known for crisp air, rain, and chilly breezes. My advice for fall is waxed cotton all the way from boots to hats. Stay dry, warm, and light! The good thing about these jackets is that they’ll last you forever, and since they’re classics, they never go out of style.


Barbour makes several styles of really nice waxed jackets and hats. I recently got to view four different jackets, and I was told that all their labor is done in Europe (no sweatshops) and their waxes are totally animal-friendly. The Flyer, below, is my favorite for this fall. It’s lightweight, insulated, and has nice detailing. The jacket has a 100% cotton Barbour tartan lining with 30 gauge wadding for extra warmth. Two way front zip under a studded front, cord inner collar with buckle front tap, knitted rib hem and cuffs. Retail $375 Wax Flyer JacketWax Flyer Jacket

Goes Great with:

Backyard Jeans


If you are looking for a more edgy jacket, the International Trials Short Jacket, below,  is a slimmer, shorter length version of Barbour’s iconic motorcycle design. I suggest wearing this style over a slender suit, open with the belt buckled. This jacket is in Barbour’s medium-weight 6 oz. Sylkoil wax with a 100% cotton Barbour tartan lining. Two-way front zip under a studded storm fly front with set-in sleeves and ventilation eyelets. PU Coated polyamide inner drip strip for extra weather protection, corduroy collar and cuffs, and multiple pockets. Retail $379 International Trials ShortInternational Trials ShortGoes Great with:

Gossypium - Wine Vichy Checked ShirtLight Tan Black Red Cotton Ties in Light Tan/Black/Red


Finally, if you’re looking for a longer coat, the Cowen Commando is one of Barbour’s most famous styles. this modern wax jacket was designed from a historic British army pattern, with a Union Jack badge to prove it. Barbour’s heavyweight 8 oz. Weathered wax with tartan lining. The jacket also features reinforced shoulder panels,  a drawcord waist with adjustable toggles and multiple pockets. Retail $419.Cowan Commando JacketCowan Commando JacketGoes Great with:

Gossypium - Denim Striped Shirt Green Yellow Black White Cotton Ties in Green/Yellow/Black/WhiteslateBoBo Holborn Belt BlackTom



Belstaff’s waxed cotton is more expensive than Barbour (averaging around $530). They are gorgeous and leather-free, but they do incorporate Teflon in their canvass, which is toxic, and made by DuPont, a known vivisector and environmental polluter. Therefore I cannot recommend these jackets, and I suggest writing a kind letter to DuPont expressing your disdain for outdated and cruel animal testing, and CC Belstaff!

Belstaff Trialmaster Jacket - BEL007


David Morgan

For a more affordable autumn jacket, David Morgan offers a oil-finish, waxed cotton jacket called the Shelter Cloth Jacket (retail $160). It has a marbleized color, utility pocket, and moleskin collar (don’t worry, moleskin is actually cotton). David Morgan also offers a pretty bad-ass trench coat called The Duster (retail $285).Shelter Cloth JacketGoes Great with:

HickChair Man - Earth-Friendly0-child-full


Duster, Oil Finish Shelter Cloth, shown with Heavyweight Wool Liner

Goes Great with:

granite Recycled tyre belt - slick tread


Wax It Yourself

Do you own a pair of canvas boots or sneaks, a jean jacket, or even a cotton hat? If you want to waterproof it, and give it a chic, slick appearance, you can buy wax and DIY!

Barbour® Thornproof DressingDriza-Bone Oilskin Reproofer (Garment Dressing)