Hello and welcome to a quick episode of Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals.
I've been busy recently, so I've been neglecting my podcast, sorry to the five people who listen!
I was a little afraid of being banned from the internet, having played three Jackson Five/The Jacksons songs on Episode 30.
My intro bumper was from my friend Emmy, who has a new Animal Rights podcast.
You can find Emmy at www.vegan-for-life.blogspot.com
Today I joined a march against the mining of protected conservation land. Our government wants to mine in New Zealand National Parks, and other protected land. It was fun to get out of my house, to nervously walk in silence, and then to arrive with different political groups fighting for control. There were the Green party of course, Labour, and….my favourite…."UNITE", a "socialist" union group. Apparently people had driven a couple hundred kilometers from Dunedin to join the march, I imagine the UNITE guys were not from Invercargill. It was kind of odd, with so many different people there, for quite different reasons. Some mention being against mining because it could hurt the native animals in the area, these same people will mention farm land too, and how our clean green New Zealand image is vital to selling quote "our meat" overseas. As long as its between consensual adults in the privacy of their own home, I suppose I have nothing in theory against consensual cannibals, theres always the "ick" factor, and I hope nobody eats my corpse, but whatever. This is not "our" meat they are talking about, its whats left over from beautiful animals, killed for our pleasure. How someone could love a Kiwi, and not care for a Chicken is beyond me, they are essentially the same animal. Of course, I like my little Friends much more than some long beaked brown lump, that cant even fly. The now fully grown chicks still manage to flutter up to their nesting beam. Its how we think of animals that makes the difference, if they are seen as lovable native animals, the symbol of our country, or as KFC.
Elizabeth Collins mentioned me on NZ Vegan Podcast.
I love when you mention my show Coexisting For Nonhuman Animals Elizabeth, but oh man, thanks for the pressure, by being slack recently, I've gone and let you down. Sam Tucker, of the radio show Food For Thought is really the only punctual New Zealand Animal Rights podcaster. You can find Sam's radio show, Food With Thought, just kidding, Food For Thought, fftradio .wordpress.com
I really appreciate everyone with an Abolitionist Vegan podcast. I listen to your shows while I work, and I feel podcasting is very special. Its like a one sided talk with your best friends. Sometimes its nice to just hear what other people have to say about something you are interested in. I've been listening to past Gary Francione interviews, and a few callers to the radio shows stood out.
I'd find it rather difficult to talk with someone who felt that way towards animals. Killing insects is your way of quote "having fun outside"? Sort of like the fishermen, or hunters who talk about just "enjoying nature". If you want to have fun outside, climb a mountain, or bungy jump off a bridge, or paddle a kayak. Hurting animals, KILLING animals should never be your idea of "fun".
I recently left my house, amazing, I'm normally like Bigfoot, people notice when I'm out in public, and found the conversation rather upsetting. Half the people in the room worked at the meat section of a supermarket, a "deli", and talked about chopping up chickens, the other half were talking about hunting. One of the conversations involved some epic hunt, where the shooters had no idea WHAT they were trying to kill, "some kind of goat thing", just that they couldn't let it escape. I was meant to cheer them on, in their displays of manliness. Normally, in these conversations, I am quiet, and I don't draw attention to my Veganism. I'd love to know what advice anyone listening has, should I say something sarcastic? "oh boy, the way you kill gentle animals a third your size and weight surely leads me to believe you have massive genitals"? Or should I be more serious? You can find me at j a y w o n t d a r t @gmail.com or on Twitter, jaywontdart.
Oh, Emmy asked me why I have the fake name Jay Wont dart, well, its rather simple. I never want to hide behind a fake name, especially with my friends, its simply an anagram to make new account registration easy. My real name is Jordan Wyatt, I never try and hide that, I've mentioned my height, about 1.95 metres, my weight, somewhere below 90 kilograms, that I have dark brown naturally curly hair, green eyes….size 13 feet….I'm not trying to hide anything. Using the name "Jay Wont dart", with the J and W capitalized when possible, is just my name, Jordan Wyatt rearranged, an anagram. I'm certainly not the only Jordan Wyatt on the internet, but so far, I'm the only jaywontdart. I don't want to have a Twitter account of "jordan wyatt NZ", and an email account of "jordan wyatt 1987", obviously the year of my birth, creating a fairly unique name means I'm more likely to get future addresses or account names that I'd like, to be consistent. I'm not trying to hide! If you'd like to find me anywhere, just look for jaywontdart.
Back to the radio caller who has "fun outside", I do find it interesting the excuses Vegans get from people who enjoy killing, eating, wearing, USING animals. Things such as "oh, its all about drawing a line somewhere". Well, I don't think we are required to draw "a line" anywhere, we can snap the hypothetical pencil in half, we can donate the made up maker pen to a starving child in Auckland. I don't think we should accept excuses about "why I do what I do", when its most likely that people have grown up a certain way, they see that this is the norm in their society, and they are more likely to try and justify their behavior than, in their eyes, change their entire life. I think by trying to appear calm and reasonable, as if we know what we are talking about, when we have actually learnt about what we are speaking of, that people can and WILL take Veganism seriously. There is so much more to Animal Rights than posing naked, or blowing up buildings.
Heres another caller, from a different show, I've linked to recordings of each in my shownotes,
I wanted to interrupt here, because I find religious arguments against Veganism to be just…difficult for me to take seriously. I went to a Catholic primary and secondary school, and while I'm a very staunch atheist, I don't make a big deal about religion to my friends who believe in a god. In my personal life, I don't think it affects me what people think. I love chickens, I think chickens are perhaps the most incredible animals, short of insects, around, but some people might like cats more than they like chickens. I might personally think "pssh, as if a bunch of hair could stand up to the sheer elegance of feathers", whatever, its a personal belief, its a personal feeling. As long as there are not laws that somehow affect me, I don't feel any need to be a militant atheist, firebombing churches and appearing in "I'd rather go naked than go to heaven" ad campaigns.
But even at the religious schools I went to, no teacher would have ever denied Evolution, would have chosen biblical interpretations over what is regarded as mainstream scientific fact. I'm sure in a hundred years, people will look back and laugh at what the people of 2010 though, in the same way my Original iPhone is rather laughable compared to the shiny new iPhone 4, separated by a whole three years of evolution. Well actually, also the "intelligent design" guided by the hand of Jony Ive. But I think that science can cope with admitting when a fact is found to be wrong, and can change.
I liked an NPR Intelligence Squared debate about religion, "Is America Too Damn Religious". The topic of what is known as "Intelligent Design" being taught to American school children was brought up. I think Intelligent Design is almost unique to religious Americans. Even the Catholic Popes have agreed that, in the words of Pope John Paul the second, "new findings lead us toward the recognition of evolution as more than a hypothesis" Like the religious caller talking to Gary Francione, it was suggested that Intelligent Design was as valid as Evolution. Susan Jacoby, an atheist on the panel set the record straight.
I often worry that the Vegans I know are often very anti-science, many seem to be more willing to believe in magic healing crystals or raw diets over modern medicine. I think that with the theory of Evolution, science is a great friend of Veganism, that we can see how we are ALSO animals, we are not different, we too are Animals. When you think of how animals are very, very, very distant family, its much harder to defend killing 56 billion land animals each year.
Back to the religious caller
I also thought molars were grinding teeth, better suited for plant material, and that sharper teeth were more for ripping other animals apart. When you look at animals that attack others, predators, they tend to have sharper teeth, animals that chew plants, herbivores, tend to have large, flatter teeth.
I cant imagine myself getting religious arguments against Veganism here in New Zealand, but its good to always be prepared. I think Gary Francione did a great job answering the question without arguing for or against his personal religious beliefs. I hope I havnt annoyed any religious friends listening in, in future and in person I'll try and talk less about me, and more about animals.
As well as podcasts, I listen to audiobooks. A recent audiobook was "Stuff White People Like", based on the blog. It mentions Veganism twice, well, Vegetarian/Vegan. I'll let the clips speak for themselves.
I've never understood this image of Vegans NEEDING to be over educated, rich snobs, or for that matter, white. I think any attempt to go after a given race of people would be lame, or offensive. For example, I don't really want to patronize Maori when I speak about Veganism, "ki ora bro, know whats some choice as kai? Vegan food, yup, next time, have a herbivore hangi". I'd be mighty offended if someone treated me differently because of my race.
I don't know how to change this idea that only "white" people are Vegan, I guess its one of those things, to keep promoting Veganism, and more people from all around the world will be Vegan.
For some reason, I found myself watching Dr Phil clips on YouTube. This one in particular stuck out, it demonstrated the lynch mob mentality of people against "cruelty to animals", as in dog fighting.
Right, so when people make dogs fight, sometimes to the death, you pay them to appear on your show, defending something that the vast majority of people are against. You also mention, and introduce a bike gang of people who "go after" those who make dogs fight. These gangmembers then threaten the fight organizers with violence, while wearing leather jackets. And finally…. bringing out Paris Hilton, who was known for treating dogs like handbag accessories. Paris then mentions she'd like to punch the dog fight organizer, as if that somehow could return the "couple hundred" dogs to life.
This is one of the traps of single issue campaigns, that certain ways of hurting or killing animals are seen as "inhumane", and other ways to kill animals are then quote "humane". By promoting Veganism, there would be no gang members in leather jackets, no overweight tv host in leather shoes, making 90 million US dollars in 2009 alone, best of all, no Paris Hilton. By promoting Veganism, Paris Hilton and co would magically vanish in a puff of smoke or perhaps steam if we're thinking of Mother Earth. Can railing against dog fighting do the same? Well, according to the Dr Phil clip, this single issue ATTRACTED Hilton to appear. Score one to promoting Veganism.
I normally don't watch The Simpsons, mostly because the new episodes are terrible, but also because I'm not a big fan of TV in general. On a recent episode, that aired a year ago in America, recent for New Zealand.
After the fictional fast food chain Krusty Burger is shown to have unhealthy food, the company focuses on the "Mother Nature Burger," which is presumably vegan . The townsfolk enjoy the burger, but soon become sick due to food poisoning. We find out tainted barley is the cause. From memory, a single rat had gotten into the harvester, quote "sometimes a rat gets in the harvester, but we washed it out". As if a single rat could make a whole town sick. And another quote, "where theres barley, theres rats". Well, if thats the only horrible thing about a vegan diet, that a hypothetical rat might get ground up into the food, thats better than a guaranteed animal or animalS being served. Of course, eating rats is not Vegan, and are also not a sure thing, I guess the story writers, many of who are Vegetarian or Vegan themselves, felt the need to balance the story about an obviously meat free, possibly vegan burger. I quite enjoy knowing that many Simpsons cast members are vegetarian, including the voice of Homer Simpson.
There was also an episode of King Of The Hill mentioning Vegetarians, when the main characters son was lured into being Vegetarian because of a girl he liked. At the end of the episode, after being dumped by this evil vegetarian, Bobby eats a ginormous steak in front of her, making a point to have it "rare". We see the stupid vegetarian being annoyed, and the episode ends with Bobby's triumph. I've never understood the logic behind saying things like "for every animal you don't eat, I'll eat three". Is that meant to be funny? Are other nonvegans meant to be in stitches? I've never liked eating mushrooms, if someone mentioned eating three times their normal amount of mushrooms in front of me, I wouldn't find it annoying. Of course, killing animals for our pleasure is different, but if I can face the fact that we kill over 56 billion land animals a year, hearing someones boast of eating a few more is not going to break my heart.
I think part of this "lets hate Vegans" is that we are seen as radical, and preachy. I try not to go overboard when I meet new people, I normally wont tell people I'm vegan. I wouldn't tell people I'm against abusing children, why would I tell them how I respect animals? I don't think people take Veganism seriously when we constantly bombard them, in what they might deem offensive ways. I often mention how much I love all animals, and I always end up showing photos of my "Chicken Friends", yes, I do sometimes say "Chicken Friends" in day to day life, but I don't wear any t shirts with "meat is murder" or similar slogans. I don't mind having a podcast, talking about Veganism to people I consider friends I havnt yet met, but normally, when I meet new people in the flesh, I've found it best not to go on and on about my Veganism. My friends will normally bring it up, I think its much better to let it come up, than wearing unusual t shirts and waiting for people to notice. I think its nice when people like me for who I am, and if or when they find out I'm vegan, they don't judge me for it, and they can see that Vegans are regular, pleasant to be with people.
Last episode, I mentioned a supposed cows milk sedative, apparently New Zealand cows milk makes 88% of Taiwanese people sleepy. Now, for New Zealanders, we have the opposite, using our beloved cows milk again. New Zealanders have this phrase "number 8 wire", "the number 8 wire mentality". The average rural Kiwi bloke, reckons he's something of a McGyver, able to jimmy up a solution to any problem by using the common fencing wire. Of course, this over reliance on one type of wire does limit our inventing potential, its hard to imagine the iPhone 4 being made solely from thick fencing wire.
When it comes to exports, milk is our number 8 wire, we can solve all the worlds problems if we only exported even more cows milk. If milk can drug Taiwanese people into sleep, then we can probably drug people into staying awake, by adding "fizziness" to milk.
I don't think any company should need to defend their product so constantly. Its as if the idea is plain nuts, that we are almost DARED into trying this "fizzy milk", as in "bet ya cant finish the whole can". I don't think the children included on the news piece were drinking the actual MO2 brand of "fizzy milk", it was being made by putting water into a Soda Stream soda maker, and then adding milk. Still, when small children are on television mention feeling sick after having a small mount of home made "fizzy milk", its not a great reflection on the MO2 brand.
I guessed the official site for this "fizzy milk", as its normally called, the actual brand is "M O 2". Whats with that name, it looks like a chemical symbol for a noxious gas. I wasn't sure if it were m zero or m o 2, a big difference when you are trying to guess the website. MO2.co.nz is the correct address. So, I'd just stumbled upon the correct address, I'm concentrating on Firefox to see if I have a correct URL, and then….you know in visual media, when a drug hallucination is represented by flashing colours and oil patterns? Psychedelic imagery? That was my first thought on seeing the giant Flash animation, with two cans of this "fizzy milk", tilting and whirring across my large screen. Mirror images of each can extend behind the product, and twirl about for a few seconds before stabilizing. I found it very uncomfortable. At the top of the page is the text "That's the feeling you get from MO2, a milk drink that was born on the edge." Well, I felt like I was on the edge of having a seizure from those spinning cans of "fizzy milk". And if epileptic people are still clinging to life, the edge of life, the alternating text flashes between lemonade in blue, to cola in red. I find small blinking things annoying, and the way the two side by side words change to show the two "flavors", I can almost hear a police siren, "weeee ohhhhh, weee oooooh, weeee oohhhh" as I notice the red and blue flashing bar. Damn Flash, see, Steve Jobs is right about this stuff, Flash serves only for punch the monkey banner ads and spinning cans of "fizzy milk". Next time I look up a bizarre product, I'll use my iPad, to be spared of unsettling animations.
Heres an usual news story:
"A stock worker was airlifted to hospital this morning after being crushed by a bull at a northern Wairarapa farm.
The man was helping load bulls on to a truck at Eketahuna about 9am when he was crushed against a rail, Square Trust Rescue helicopter pilot Fergus Maclachlan.
An effluent spreader had to be turned off to allow the helicopter to land in a (and this is a quote) "pile of poo...everyone smelled a bit when they got on board," he said.
The man is being assessed at Palmerston North Hospital and is in a stable condition."
I hate how the farming world has all sorts of euphemisms. When I think of Farmers, I normally notice them being AGAINST so called "politically correct" terms. But there they go, calling animal waste, my polite term, "effluent", and a big metal thing that throws this proverbial…animal waste…. about is called an "effluent spreader".
I never mention stories of farmers or freezing workers being hurt by the animals they kill in an attempt to be funny. I don't think its ever nice to laugh at someones misfortune. I personally hate when Animal Rights people share about videos of bullfighters getting killed, with their comments of "I wish all hunters would die too". People who are not Vegan now, are no different than I was before I were Vegan. I wouldn't wish an accident on anyone. I'm including this story in an attempt to mention all the "behind the scenes" of Animal Agriculture. I often read farming websites, and when you read the laundry list of foul jobs involved with farming animals, its hard to argue AGAINST Veganism. For example, when you buy eggs, theres no mention of the male chicks being killed while being a day or so old. A farming Message Board I am on recently had a discussion about "offal pits", when the farmers kill animals, and dump all their "waste", you know, organs essential to life, into giant holes. The farmers then causally mention the smell, and how rats that are attracted by these "offal pits". These issues simply never come up with the farming of crops. I know compost isn't always attractive, but its got to beat the smell of rotting guts, dumped into a hole, covered by a metal door.
I think by mentioning what goes into creating all animal products, including the "Happy" ones, that Veganism is obviously a better lifestyle. Talking about how animal byproducts are taken doesn't mean we need to focus on obvious animal abuse videos, with animals being beaten, there will always be some shocking actions inherent to farming animals to be killed.
Another example of our "number 8 wire mentality", a strange way to make paper. The end result looked somewhat non-white, but that could be intentional, or because the quote "paper" had not been bleached.
Sorry to put you through those awful puns, perhaps you found that clip "unbear-a-bull"
Trying to find new ways of using animal waste sounds like an attempt at lemons to lemonade, although I don't find lemons to be disgusting. To follow my earlier story, there are some inevitable outcomes of farming animals, to be killed solely for our pleasure, there will always be TONNES of animal waste, no matter how nice the string band on the way to the gas chamber is. Rather than find new ways to use some of it, I'd rather not have it in the first place.
Thank you for listening to Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals, truly a memora-bull episode
You can find the script for this episode, as well as downloads for every episode of Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals at coexisting with nonhuman animals . blogspot.com
If you want to contact me, even just to say you loved my , send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter, twitter.com/ j a y w o n t d a r t, I'd appreciate it.
Thank you for listening.
Vegan For Life podcast
NZ Vegan Podcast Episode 57 (I'm mentioned around 3:10)
Sam Tucker Food For Thought radio show
Homer Simpson voice actor Vegetarian
Number 8 Wire
Official site for the "fizzy milk", called MO2 (M letter 'O' 2)
Crushed by a bull
"shit stirrer" paper
Bulls weird toilet design
Big Talker Religious Caller
O'reilly show smashing bugs "fun outdoors"
Evolution comment by Susan Jacoby, Intelligence Squared US (NPR)
The Simpsons episode with barley burgers, "Coming To Homerica"