Episode 80 Curious Hen and the Hare Krishnas
Jordan and Dan visit the Invercargill Hare Krishna group, Pak n Save "meat week" (or Flesh Weak), Southland Times published letters involving PETA Australia, "Our Friends" at the "Meat Council" New Zealand "Beef + Lamb" and Jordan and Steve of the Invercargill Vegan Society, Listener Survey, Sociologists cracking jokes, "Blue Sky Meats rules, South Pacific Meats sucks", Bluff Hill animal eradication programs and more!
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Hello and welcome to episode 80 of Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals, Curious Hen and the Hare Krishnas.
Thank you to my friend Clarke Vincent for the great bumper clip, the Vincent family appear in a "We Are INVSOC" photo on the Invercargill Vegan Society website, I sent a couple of INVSOC badges over to them, and they sent back a great photo.
Today we have a fine episode lined up, filled with clips and local Invercargill, bottom of New Zealand news, all the things you love.
To try and whip this shambles of a show into shape, I created a simple survey online. I would greatly appreciate if you'd fill it out, its anonymous, and takes just a minute or so of your precious time.
You can find the survey at www.coexisting.co.nz . Its added to the "Important Links" section, on the right hand side of the website, the top link. Its very important after all. Coexisting Survey.
This survey will help create a listenable show for the listeners, I'll appreciate your time filling in the survey, and so will you!
A quick summary of the 17 results so far, most who filled in the survey had listened for over a year, and the most popular answer as to where they discovered my show was through a friend, or through Facebook. I would love if you'd share Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals with a friend, be it on the street, in a dark alleyway, as the exposed pipes drip and rust all around you and your friend, whispering the names of Animal Rights podcasts in hushed voices, or, if you'd simply "share" links to episodes on Facebook, its up to you, whatever floats your boat.
The most beloved episode is my interview with the one, the only Dr Will Tuttle, one of the most generous and kind human beings on the face of the planet. Some of the write in answers also included "the one with Carl Scott in it" (my friend Carl was the Man in a Cage here in New Zealand, asking to have battery cages banned in New Zealand by staying in a self made cage for a month), "all the ones mentioning Dr Roger Yates" and Episode 37. This particular survey response mentions "Episode 37 Hey Hey Hey, Nah Nah Nah! I can't say if that's my favourite one but it's definitely my favourite title. It always makes me chuckle whenever I think of the van deer Heyden audio clip or your excellent impersonation of said clip."
Oh, you mean the one about New Zealand "dairy" cows being given abortions, after being made pregnant by force initially, their unborn babies are killed, called an "induction", they "induce" labour knowing the child wont survive, like pulling the plug in your bathtub, all the water runs out and the baby gets sucked down the drain, you know, through the drain cover and all.
New Zealands largest company, dairy monopoly Fonterra's chairman was asked about the controversial practice, if he subjected "his" cows to it. The guy gets paid a huge salary, he's a multi millionaire many times over, and yet this is the best he could do, representing our largest company :
Oh, you wanted my impression too? Sounds like a small terrier barking and growling at the postman,
The things you liked most about Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals, The Attempts at Humour, thank you, I'll be here all week, and Stories of Chicken Friends. Heres one written answer,
"applying an abolitionist perspective on lots of different subjects and explaining your position, often with humour. It reassures me i'm not alone in thinking that way, and introduces new ideas to me."
The thing you collectively like least about the show, ie, the thing you HATE is all the clips I use! One commenter mentioned they didn't particularly care for The Simpsons, well, don't worry my friend, you're gonna LOVE this episode ;-) Oh wait, you said you DIDNT like Simpsons clips, um, well, ok, you're gonna hate it.
I hope you'll fill out the short survey yourself, and let me know, anonymously, how you feel, how I can improve the show, and help promote Veganism. You'll find it at the top right of www.coexisting.co.nz , I'd really appreciate a moment of your time.
One of the most genuine, hard core, rock solid, industrial strength, heavy duty Animal Rights advocates I've ever had the fortune to meet is Professor Roger Yates, of On Human Nonhuman Relations, your favourite podcast and mine. Professor Gary Francione has high praise for Roger :
But even Dr Yates isn't above being dragged down to my level of pop culture references and impressions, heres a clip from his recent podcast, with special guest Bernie Wright, of Alliance for Animal Rights, and some other guy they found wandering the Skype wilderness :
Which is of course referencing the fantastic English comedy series Little Britain, where theres a city or something with only one homosexual citizen, or, maybe not! :
Heres a comment from a local news story, a slaughterhouse worker for "Blue Sky Meats", an aspirational name for a slaughterhouse, where men and women dressed in white aprons and white gumboots bleed out red blood all day long, well, the worker is mighty pleased with their employer, compared to some other slaughterhouse jerk, "South Pacific Meats", which has a lot of really dumb rules :
""blue sky meats worker #1 via mobile 05:57 pm Mar 27 2012
Well even though Blue Sky Meats doesn't do halal killing, at least we work for a company who rarely gets into trouble, who allows employees to wear iPods, pays better and not many ppl has cut themselves on the saw. Also Blue Sky Meats doesn't do random drug testing either, so overall Blue Sky Meats rules while South Pacific Meats sucks.
Good to know! Not many people has cut themselves on the saw, and you get to listen to your iPod while you're at work cutting throats and pulling out guts and cutting flesh from bones, perhaps they listen to Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals while they're at it, we'll never know.
I was really taken back by this recent story, about protecting native New Zealand birds, by killing thousands of introduced animals, at Bluff, the very bottom of the South Island, pretty much the southernmost tip of New Zealand, (well, the South Island, theres still the tiny Stewart Island with its population of a couple hundred people or so which relies on tourism and fish killing to survive). Bluff Hill is a big, you guessed it, hill, which overlooks our countries great Aluminium Smelter, which makes some of the finest ALUMINIUM in the world, next time you see an Airbus A380, rest assured that its wings are partially made from Aluminium created at the bottom of New Zealand. Theres also a landmark sign, with distances to far away lands on it, city names and distances poking out every which way, Tokyo, a trillion lightyears that way, London, five galaxies up there, New York, take the next off ramp past Alpha Centuri etc, tourists always love taking their photo with it, "hey mum and dad, look at me, I'm at the bottom of New Zealand, next to this crazy sign!" It is pretty cool at Sterling Point, also known as Lands End, you can look down at the little cliffs below the sign to see the waves crashing upon the rocky shore, the bottom of the South Island, theres a great cafe and hotel right there, The Hotel At The End Of New Zealand, sounds like something Douglas Adams would come up with.
Dogs off leashes killing native birds
"Bluff Hill trustee Emily Osborne said its volunteers had for the past three years been trapping possums, stoats and ferrets and poisoning rats on Bluff Hill to protect native birds. It was disheartening when the work of the volunteers was undermined by domestic dogs killing the wildlife because they were not on leads.
"It's a bugger when we are doing all this pest control and someone lets their dog off a lead and IT attacks a titi or penguin. We are lucky to have birds in Bluff that have disappeared in other places, especially the sea birds, so we might as well try and protect them."
The Bluff Hill trust, consisting of six trustees and about 30 volunteers, had killed about 1000 possums and 100 stoats and weasels in traps on Bluff Hill in the past three years, she said.
"We do this because it's a unique environment and a cool hill and it's nice to be able to do it."
Right, so they're really pissed about the occasional dog being let off a leash and somehow killing a penguin, I'm sure that happens ALL the time, meanwhile, these environment protectors are out there poisoning thousands of possums and stoats and weasels to death, its weird to think about! I get this vision of Bluff Hill trustee Emily Osbourne, her backpack filled with poisons, her hands still red with blood, having choked possums to death all day, and she's giving an interview with the newspaper reporter about a dog or two killing a couple penguins a few months ago!
A week or so ago, I decided to do something fun, I visited the local meeting of Hare Krishnas. I'd walked to the Countdown supermarket on a lovely Invercargill afternoon, to take photos of all the lovely Vegan products available, and then leave having purchased practically nothing, HA! On my way out, after the fifteen year old behind the checkout was too busy talking to her friend at another station when she was supposed to be serving me, I noticed the community noticeboard. On it, was a notice about the Hare Krishnas, and I thought, OOH! I've heard about you on television, long flowing robes, dancing and chanting, an Indian spiritual tradition, and they're offering quote "Free Veg Food"!
Well, I was quite taken back, I thought it sounded like a wonderful place to meet other Vegans, and bolster our INVSOC numbers!
I went along with my friend Dan, aka the first Vegan I ever met, we each brought a Vegan cake to help out with the free food aspect. We were politely told that our Vegan food wouldn't have been blessed the correct way, and so we could keep it, which was very nice of them to offer. I'd soon asked the organizers about the food, "pure veg, does that mean its vegan?" to which I got the answer yes, no animal products, which sounded wonderful, but I soon found out that "no animal products" and "pure vegetarian" meant it had butter inside everything, dairy products, cows milk or "calf food" as Only Vegan In The Village Professor Roger Yates might say. That was a little confusing, to say the least, pure vegetarian, no animal products, except for the animal product throughout everything! Dan and myself also politely declined *their* food, and we sort of politely suggested it might be made Vegan in future, half expecting to receive the beatings of our lives from these peaceful, spiritual people.
Heres a quick interview with the main organizer of the Invercargill Hare Krishna's, notice how he goes along with my use of the word "vegan", that Veganism was part of nonharm, of being a Hare Krishna, even though none of them were Vegan among the group. They were really great, friendly people, I'm glad they invited us along, and let me ask them a few questions:
I remain as devout an Atheist as before, but its always wonderful to go along to meetings of different belief systems, to try out new things. If I'd been afraid of learning new ways of thinking, I would probably never have learnt about Veganism.
Heres a fun story, local supermarket Pak n Save made a television ad promoting their big quote "meat week", where animal flesh is sold at lower prices, apparently, and people supposedly go insane over it, blood lust. I've blogged about this "meat week" malarky before, its really strange to me that a particular section of the supermarket gets promoted, and not "bread day" or "fresh fruit fridays", but the dead animal parts. Why? Is it because of the cultural importance we place on animal flesh, that this is an essential part of every main meal, that it makes you tough, that it makes you strong?
The first televised ad was quickly pulled, after a Vegetarian complained. To my understanding, the video was taken down from YouTube before I could see it, it had the standard Pak n Save supermarket line art drawing of a stick figure shopping, and the stickman saw a non vegan sausage but called it a carrot, and there was some kind of "ha, that would trick vegetarians". Heres part of the NZ Herald article explaining the outrage, an article made to grab attention, to get page views for the Herald, it ended up with around 300 comments.
"Wellington vegetarian Tashee Smith, 24, said she was upset that the sarcastic advertisement made a mockery of her belief system.
It began with a warning to vegetarians to look away while they showed meat on a conveyor belt, which was "okay'', she said.
"Then the punch line of the ad says, 'Alright vegetarians, you can look back now. It's a carrot. Just kidding, it's a sausage'.
"The whole tone of it I felt really was just quite offensive. It was made to offend.''
It was a high profile company that was often trying to promote organic, ethical and responsible trading, but it now came across as unwelcoming to thousands of vegetarians and vegans, she said.
"The New Zealand Vegetarian Society warned its followers about the advertisement on Facebook, saying it went further than the normal jokes about vegetarians.
"This contributes to the underlying belief some people hold that it is ok to get a laugh on a vegetarian by tricking them in this way.
"This is in fact bullying, and particularly affects children.''"
Well, based on that description, the reaction from one Vegetarian and the New Zealand Vegetarian Society may well sound like an OVER reaction. I get the offensive nature of the ad, that feeling when you're in a group of Non Vegan friends and family members, and they're all kind of hassling you a little, "ha, Jordan cant have this, mmmmm, animal flesh is wonderful, oh it makes me feel so strong and masculine, don't you want some Jordan?" etc, it must be REALLY annoying when you hear them saying that to you, and your name isn't actually Jordan, right?
Its more about the culture the ad shows, the general Non Vegan society we live in, where its acceptable to make silly little taunts at Vegetarians and Vegans. Would I have complained to Pak n Save about it, in a polite email? Well, maybe, I'd try to do it with humor, and with a suggestion they could perhaps promote fresh fruit and vegetables for a week too, or maybe even particular Vegan products by name, to increase sales!
The fact that Pak n Save pulled the ad made a huge stink among Non Vegans, "its giving into typical liberal greenie political correct cry baby-ness! I'd tell them to go ….themselves, and then pour a bucket of pigs blood over their heads, like in Carrie!"
Hundreds of these comments were made on news articles about it, basically, all it took was for one Vegetarian to contact Pak n Save about the ad, perhaps all they said was "I'm Vegetarian, and I feel like your many Vegetarian customers who shop in your supermarket each week would prefer you didn't run ads directly making fun of us", perhaps thats it, as well as the Vegetarian Society saying it was bullying, and BOOM, you would have thought the world had ended for Non Vegans.
Comment upon comment, all saying essentially the same thing, the world has gone soft, Pak n Save has given in to one whining little pathetic greenie veggie, take away womens right to vote and give us the right to have guns and kill people as punishment.
I wrote a sarcastic comment on the Herald page, hoping to trick the Non Vegan complainers into thinking I was on their side, at least initially!
"Why wont those blardy dole bludging greenies Get A Real Job, I work blardy hard for my moneys here in Invercargill, and look at alllllll the people complaining about this ad! I think they should get a damn life, and stop their blardy whinging!!! This is a free country, people can express their damn opinion without having to worry about whining whiners whining away in a whining whine!"
I don't think many got the irony or sarcasm of the situation, one vegetarian, and The Vegetarian Society making a Facebook post on their own group, and boom, you have at the very least hundreds of complaining Non Vegans feeling the need to silence the Non- Non Vegan voices of the world, while blaming that very same minority for removing the right to free speech!
I really liked this comment from Tua Peters, a commenter on the Herald, I asked permission to include it here on this episode:
"Tua Peters: Why all the hateful comments people, vegans are only standing up to what they believe and when big government or big corporations cross that line then it is expected that they (vegans) respond. Let them voice their concerns, as have women, Maori, gays, lesbians, wharfies and other minorities given the right to in the past. This feud is between Vegans and big corporations, I dont think the protest was aimed at us normal folk....peace!"
And fair enough too Tua, well said. I look forward to the day when Vegans *are* "normal folk", in terms of being the majority though! :-)
Pak n Save rereleased the ad, in what I expect was opportunistic bandwagon jumping on, they saw the complaint they got from one Vegetarian, I'm guessing they decided to tell the media they were pulling the ad from television, online, they would ride a huge storm of controversy, while then instantly releasing a new ad, again mocking fun of political correctness and vegetarians, while the whole nation was talking about Pak n Save.
its essentially the first ad, with a little disclaimer, mocking political correctness:
So there we have it, a huge PR success for the supermarket, and from based on Pak n Save Invercargill, our single Pak n Save supermarket, unlike those jerks up in Auckland who have not one, but fourteen, there were never actually any Vegetarian Sausages on special :-(
The last story I'd like to share with you is about my newspaper letter writing career.
It all began when I found out a PETA Australia representative had sent in a letter to my local newspaper here in Invercargill, New Zealand, The Southland Times. As you know, living in the year 2012, I myself do not read a "newspaper", I heard about it from friends at work, "oh, theres this editorial about not eating meat in the newspaper, about emissions". I looked online, and couldn't find it, although I did find this from the PETA activists Facebook page, which I understand to be the letter published not only by The Southland Times, but numerous other papers around the world.
WELL! Thats when the High Quality Dairy Nutrients hit the fan!
The New Zealand meat council, called "Beef + Lamb" wrote in, defending the killing of Other Animals, and under the guise of patriotism, nationalism and nutrition too! :
Right, well thats when I decided to command T a new tab open in Chrome, fire up Gmail and give them a piece of my mind!
To quickly explain the local references in the letter, I was poking fun at the fact the earlier two are from out of Invercargill or even out of New Zealand, heres a quick run down.
The INVSOC logo came to me in a dream, involving lots of different ideas coming together, the green V shape, the actual name "INVSOC", as read aloud by a ghostly Roger Yates, I heard his voice saying "English Socialism", he's actually an English Sociologist, not an English Socialist, sounds like the same thing to me though! The Mayor of Invercargill, Tim Shadbolt appears in a video on the INVSOC website, he's huh….quite a character you could say. He used to work in the concrete industry, and to celebrate winning the mayoralty once, he towed a concrete mixer through town hitched to his Lada, remember those crap old cars? Sort of like the build quality of your average American car actually, well short of the average Japanese made, exported to New Zealand secondhand cars you usually see on New Zealand roads.
The Lake Hayes A & P show, a sort of farmers event for the public to attend, to see all kinds of farming companies selling products and rides on tractors and all kinds of crazy things, it had a rideon lawnmower race, adults racing ride on lawnmowers around a short course, and two of the entrants ended up fighting, the newspaper has a photo of one of them punching the other off their lawnmower, its bloody brilliant how stupid these adults were, I mean, hello, you are racing lawnmowers, big huge machines with spinning blades, (I'm not sure if they could operate without the blades in operation or not) and you decide the other guy cut in front of you or something, so you jump off, Brooklyn style, as if to say "hey, I'm a grown man rideon lawnmower racing here!"
Nappies are what we call "diapers", the things babies are wrapped in before they are toilet trained, "green around the gills" is a saying meaning you feel physically sick, and the pop culture references are from The Simpsons, Lisa the Vegetarian.
This is the full letter, I sent an abridged version as well to fit in their draconian wordcount, and needless to say, the printed version also lacks sound clips
"Since both the Australian wing of a multinational organization and a paid employee of the New Zealand "meat council" have had a letter published, why not the local Vegan Society too? :-)
Of course, I too am paid handsomely/obscenely based on our SIT inspired zero fees scheme for being Vegan, INVSOC Tower threatens to block out the strong Southland sun in a Mr Burns-ian fashion, and my provided electric powered Jaguar E Type (in British Racing Green, with $839 personalized plate "INVSOC") makes Mayor Shadbolt's Chysler 300C American tank look like a Lada towing a concrete mixer!
Harming and killing other animals is most *certainly* not green, for the two largest examples of "Animal Agriculture" in Southland, animal flesh is blood red, the taking of mothers milk is as brown as the "high quality dairy nutrient" largely responsible for 89% of Southland rivers being classified as "poor" or "very poor". (Southland Times editorial 25/10/2011 "What can be done to clean up our water?")
Recent supermarket promotional events involve further chaos, sprinting trolley pushers prove "the desire to save a dollar on animal flesh wrapped in plastic is quite willing, but the Flesh is Weak" - time and time again that sharp bend at the Pick n Mix section proves quite treacherous. I havnt seen so many punchups since the adult lawnmower races at Lake Hayes A&P show!
Check the instructions under your yellow Recycle Bin's lid, "meat trays" are as non-green, as non recyclable as nappies and the 9KG gas bottle from your BBQ.
Indeed, the only thing "green" about slaughtering Other Animals is in being "green around the gills"!
After their young children are relinquished from the firm grip of Our Friends At The Meat Council, mothers can expect this daily demand from the "Iron Brion Roadshow" themesong
"…next time you're at the table shout "Mum! wheres my beef and lamb!?" "
You can see the roadshow video featuring this themesong and listen to an interview with a mother whose child somehow survived the whole ordeal at
Next time you see ads showing Sarah Ulmer and the former Evers-Swindell twins boogie-ing down to "We Love To Boogie", be aware that T. Rex lead singer Marc Bolan was Vegetarian, he would be turning over in his grave!
Might I suggest a more appropriate song for their industry, from a New Zealand group? "AFFCO" by the Skeptics.
Killing Other Animals is ethically and environmentally sound? Paid staff representing the "meat board" aggressively marketing such a message to a captive audience of 5 year olds at New Zealand primary schools?
They cant seriously expect us to swallow that tripe! Go Vegan :-)
INVERCARGILL VEGAN SOCIETY
"all animals are equal"
My friend and fellow INVSOC member Steve also had a letter included that very day!
Well done Steve.
Steves letter then got this reply the very next day
which, the day after THAT, got this reply from an Australian reader of the newspaper, presumably she subscribes to the online version of The Southland Times.
To jump back in time, my letter also had a reply
I decided to hit command T opening up another tab in Chrome, fire up Gmail and let fly again, this time with references to Dr Strangelove, a coldwar themed comedy, and Bart Simpsons ovaries :
Our next potluck is this Monday, you never know, perhaps Cyril, writer of the letter to me about "near hysterical" vegans being like "…the ranting of the gay community of the past few decades, being a very small population trying to make out as if they are the most correct" will decide to join our potluck :-)
I'll be sure to take photos, and hopefully a short audio interview of everyone present about what they brought along for a future episode of Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals.
Thank you all very much for listening to Some Guy talking about What He Thinks about things, please, I'm begging you, on bended begging knee, hands waving beggeringly, please take a minute of your time and fill out the listener survey, you'll find it at www.coexisting.co.nz, on the top right hand side of the website, I'd really appreciate hearing how you'd like me to improve the show.
Thank you for listening to Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals.
You can find the script for this episode, as well as downloads for every episode of Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals at www.coexisting.co.nz
If you want to contact me, I'd really love to hear from YOU, please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm also on Facebook and Twitter, Jordan Wyatt, W Y A T T
Thank you for listening.
Little Britain Only Gay in the Village
Slaughterhouse worker comment, one slaughterhouse "sucks", the other "rules" because of drug testing/lack of drug testing respectively!
Dogs off leash killing native birds, that we kill XXXX rats and mice and possums...
Pak n Save "meat week" supermarket ad upset Vegetarian woman
Meat Weak complainers!
"ow my ovaries!" Bart Simpson
Strangelove clip "sap and impurify precious bodily fluids"
AFFCO song by The Skeptics, about the AFFCO slaughterhouse, contains slaughterhouse scenes