Sunday, February 10, 2008

Can a Vegan express dissent towards PETA?

I guess we're going to find out...

This still needs a bit of work and actually opens up requisite discussions on the governments role as a regulating body dedicated to the protection of its citizens. Though I'm still going to pound on it a bit before sending it around I wanted to post here for comments. Thank you! ~g

Angela is always scouring the web for fresh ideas to bring to her classes and menu items. As she does so she tends to share a great deal of what see discovers. Sometimes this info is beneficial and sometimes her discoveries leave us shocked. Last week, while searching for vegan pastry dough for our Vegan Valentine's Day class, she came across PETA's I Can't Believe It's Vegan site:

"Take a stroll through your local grocery store, check some ingredients, and you'll see what we mean. You may even be surprised to find that a few of your favorite indulgences happen to be vegan! For example, did you know that Pepperidge Farm Turnovers, Murray Butter Cookies, and Cracker Jacks are all vegan?"
The site's purpose is share accidentally vegan items one can find in a typical grocery store. The problem is that these items are hyper-processed and, based on my amateur calculations, 80% of the products on their list contain Genetically Modified ingredients!

Now, don't get me wrong, though we're newly vegan, I've been a vegetarian for over half of my life. One of the greatest reasons for doing so is an ethical one. I believe that animals are our equals in this place. PETA's work has been invaluable to raising awareness of animal rights and for saving thousands and thousands of animals. As a yogi, ahimsa is a very tangible, life giving principle, and I applaud PETA for their work extending this principal to the masses.

The problem with PETA, and one of the reasons why we use the PCRM's Vegetarian Starter Kit instead of PETA's, is that they repeatedly make poor choices in product endorsement. PETA's Starter Kit recommends Kellogg-owned and Genetically Modified, Morning Star Farms products. We share our vegan lifestyle and work to instill an awareness and interest in veganism in all our clients, but when we do so we can't endorse toxic foods as alternatives to eating animal products. I realize that human health is not a focus of PETA's mission and they do openly, though nonchalantly, state that many of their accidentally vegan foods are unhealthy:
"They may not all be "health foods," but they are great for the taste buds!"
Herein lies my concern, PETA's mission outlines four focal points for their work; factory farms, laboratories, and the clothing and entertainment industries. This means PETA is rightly working towards the end of animal testing and experimentation. Now, some may read this as leap, but based on their mission, shouldn't PETA be directly involved in the fight against genetically modified foods? Factory Farms process tons and tons of GM corn that is force fed to animals who naturally don't eat corn. This GM food effects the animals health and more specifically their reproductive systems. Regardless of other horrific farming practices that are being applied simultaneously, force feeding of an indigestible food is torture plain and simple.

It gets even more thick when we bring in the fact that the effects of GM food have not been properly researched on humans OR animals. Companies like Monsanto are experimenting on these animals and testing their products. So, now the factory farm has become the laboratory. They are working double duty on these animals and the American consumer is literally cooking up the toxic waste.

But even if you've elected to pursue a vegan lifestyle you still can't escape this experiment. Your local grocery store is stocking a bevy of tasty, genetically modified and accidentally vegan products endorsed by PETA for you to try! I know that people need assistance as they transition to veganism but should we give them something just as toxic for a band-aid?

In every transition there are stages and in the transition to veganism one definitely goes through many serious psychological adjustments. Due to this aspect of the transition most vegans REALLY get the connection between food and awareness. So, it wouldn't it follow that vegans would express great concern about what GM foods and processed foods in general can do to our minds? PETA's lack of concern over human health and GM food consumption during vegan transition invokes a stereotypical AA meeting where the recovering addict clutches madly to her coffee and cigarettes. Let's work to find ways of freeing the animals and ourselves from this test!

There seems to be a real effort behind getting everyone on board with this experiment. Maybe it's easier to observe "post GM infiltrated health" by studying trends in the entire populous of a continent? These "great for the taste buds!" ultra-processed and GM foods have to be labeled in Europe and the companies pushing genetic modification in North America sell the exact same products overseas in non-GM form! I'll admit to a natural conspiratorial leaning, but I think anyone would question the interest of the companies behind this arrangement.
"What Kind Of Animal Are You?" -My favorite Coil t-shirt
I consider myself and the rest of you reading this, save the spiders, to be animals. We're mammals, right? So, with that in mind, we're asking PETA step up and defend us against the largest clandestine experiment ever conducted on animals, the commercial distribution and sale of Genetically Modified foods!
We call upon PETA to cease their recommendation and endorsement of GM products and to organize a campaign against the force feeding GM food to farm animals and humans alike!
Please voice your opinions, concerns and support here. Let's work on a dialog between animal rights and human rights and change this place!

In Health, Joy and Liberation!

Gregg Newsom
Detroit Evolution Laboratory


Coupon said...

THANK YOU. It’s amazing how vegans and vegetarians survive on GM and especially over-processed foods.

Last year I thought I had a craving for some Pillsbury crescents… I have no idea where the craving came from but I decided to check it out. I was horrified when I found out how many Pillsbury baked goods were vegan because all the natural ingredients were replaced with chemicals! Needless to say the craving was replaced by disgust!

Chris Kaminski
Chapel Hill, NC

Anonymous said...

from one vegan to another:

it's amazing how acceptable PETA practices become once u get laid...