Monday, July 20, 2009

Shake Not Steak????

Yesterday I was driving through Dallas, TX and noticed a billboard stating "Shakes Not Steaks" advertising a popular chicken fast food restaurant - Chick fil a. I'm not use to seeing these cute little cows advertising the death of chickens while trying to save their own hides except for on the few commercials I've seen in the past as we do not have one of these in my little town. Really who can resit these beautiful Holstein's begging for you to spare their lives and eat their little barnyard birdie buddies instead??

However ... This ad made me laugh out loud at the stupidity of this whole campaign. I'm pretty sure that these adorable Holstein cows took a break from pedalling the suffering of chickens so that they could promote the suffering of their children as well as themselves. I kinda wonder if whoever thought up this ad really and truthfully knows where milk (the main ingredient in the Milkshakes) comes from or the suffering that is associated with the dairy industry. Of course these companies do know but they just don't care - profit being a universal blinder.

In truth it's the consumers (one of which I use to be) who truly support ad's like these by continuing to purchase from these companies who's only goal is to profit from sales and not to care about the welfare or the sentience of the animals they are exploiting.

The dairy industry is a case of consumerism at it's worst. Dairy cow's lead a very short life of around three to four years (average lifespan for a cow is around twenty five years) and are artificially impregnated every year of their lives in order to produce milk. A cow's gestation period is 9 months long - just like a humans - and once the calf is born it is immediately taken away from it's mother. Then the mother is artificially re-impregnated so that she will produce milk for 7 of the 9 months that she is pregnant. It is common for modern dairy cows to produce 100 pounds of milk a day — ten times more than they would produce naturally.

Of course it isn't just the dairy cows that suffer. Female calves are most of the time raised to take the place of their mom's when mommy's milk production declines and she is shipped off to become ground beef and the males calves are either raised to be slaughtered for beef or close to one million of them a year are used for veal.

The veal industry is a by-product of the dairy industry. Veal calves commonly live for only eighteen to twenty weeks and are usually housed in wooden crates that are so small that they cannot turn around, stretch their legs, or even lie down comfortably. The calves are then fed a liquid milk substitute, almost entirely lacking in the needed iron and fiber, which is designed to make the animals anemic, which results in the calves having light-colored flesh that is prized as veal. A portion of the veil calves are killed at just a few days old to be sold as low-grade 'bob' veal for frozen TV dinners.

So just remember the next time you decide to have a shake that you are actually getting a free side of baby veal calf and mommy ground beef as well or maybe you will ignore the profit junkies behind these campaigns and hear in your heart what a real Holstein cow would tell you if they could.... don't take our milk away from our babies - it's for them and not for you.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

First Post - A Little Bit About Me

As a start I wanted to let you in on a little bit about who I am and what motivates me - or more importantly what has turned me into not just a vegan but one who might lose her cool at times!!!

I come from a little nowhere type of town in Texas. Of course the name of the town really isn't Hicksville but it might as well be and of course my name isn't really Volatile Vegan but in a sense that is who I am. Vegan by choice and volatile by nature.

Becoming vegan in a town where conversation around the water cooler centers around who they (the hicks) killed and ate over the weekend wasn't easy and still isn't easy. My own family finds my choice to become a vegan strange and no amount of explaining my position or why becoming a vegan is better for the environment, the animals and also for health will dispel their disbelief in me. My mom and dad ignore it for the most part and when I even say the word "vegan" you would think I had just committed a cardinal sin against humanity. Most of the people close to me think I have joined a cult and sooner or later the brainwashing will wear off and I will be "normal" again.

Of course all of you other vegans out there know that in fact it is my family and friends (like all the other meat eaters of the world) who have been brainwashed almost from birth to believe that animals (other then pets) have been put here on Earth for humans to do with what they please. To eat, to wear, to experiment on, to hunt, and generally to abuse, neglect and slaughter by the millions for profit and gain.

I am not your average animal activist - I am an abolitionist. I however will not like some abolitionist say that animal welfare is a step in the wrong direction because while 99% of the world's population still is killing animals by the millions everyday to consume - I still believe that any step to help end the suffering IS a step forward and in the end can only help the cause. However if I could wake up tomorrow morning and have enough power to somehow end the suffering by forcing the world to become vegan - I would (of course) but.... in a world full of people who's only real concern is themselves I doubt that will ever happen but that doesn't mean I will stop fighting everyday for it to happen. Apathy is not a word I will ever apply to myself and neither is acceptance. I will never accept that the suffering of these innocents is just a part of life because it isn't - it is human greed and lust that forces the suffering to continue and nothing else.

I'm a firm believer that humans have a choice to make and the way I look at it is that we can either continue to go on with our heads in the sand and be the selfish, uncaring and emotionally void husks that most of us are OR we can evolve and become the compassionate and caring humane humans that we should be. Veganism is a commitment to nonviolence and as long as the suffering continues there can not be peace for anyone - human or non-human.

What choice will you make?? I've made mine and I live with the disapproval everyday and you know what --- I'm proud of my decision and I couldn't be happier with myself that I made it!!!!

Lastly I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

"Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is-whether its victim is human or animal-we cannot expect things to be much better in this world...We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living creature." Rachel Carson