Monday, May 21, 2012

"Celebration of the New Zealand Cow"

Another Pak n Save supermarket theme has gone and upset me.  This has never happened before! :-)

Now, I reckon I have a sense of humour, a strange, unusual, undesirable sense of humour, sure, but a developed sense none the less! :-)

For example, while praising a friends cooking*, I also mentioned that the below recipe
reminded me of Michael Jacksons sister , which you can see directly here (unless you're a priest who was raised on infant formula, we've all seen them before)

Once you've seen the world through my eyes, you cant unsee it!

*I know how much it stung when the chefs partner said my early chocolate cakes looked "like crap" :-)

I had a dentist appointment today, where I found out that one of my teeth will be "extracted", yanked out by the lovely new British dentist, and the friendly, always-mouth-covered assistant who I joke with.  My first visit I cracked jokes the whole time - nervous laughter - and the second trip was no different.  At the end of the first appointment, I said I'd drop them off some Banana Chocolate Chip muffins in thanks, which I did the next day.

Today after they handed me a rather snazzy pair of green sunglasses to wear while the overhead light blared at my mouth, I told the two dentists about seeing The Avengers in 3D the previous night, that I hoped the effects would be just as good.

As they informed me that there was a possibility of nerve damage with one procedure, which I smiling asked if the damaged nerve would prevent my jaw from ever becoming wrinkly, "like botox?".  We all got along quite well, as they took to me with injections, x rays, picks, probes, little motorcycle stalk mirrors and high speed drills.

I find one aspect of the assistants job most funny, when she has to hold a gloved finger in the patients mouth for a long time, for example, holding in the "sucker thing", a vacuum, or the air blower.  I keep meaning to tell her "boy, you picked the right career for that talent, it was either being a proctologistgynecologist or working in dentistry - I reckon you picked the right orifice to probe with your gloved finger!", but not everyone shares my sense of humour, and its not a nice thought for either of us to focus on while she has that gloved finger inside my mouth!

Nor have I told her about the clever song by smooth RnB singer Frank Ocean, "Novacaine", about abusing dental painkillers to feel "high"

"she said she wanna be dentist really badly
she's in school paying
for tuition doing porn in the valley
at least you working
but girl i can't feel my face
what are we smoking anyway
she said don't let the high goto waste
but can you taste a little taste of
baby baby
novacaine baby i want you"

Somehow it seems inappropriate, yeah?  Yeah.

As we waited for a second Xray to develop, the dentist asked me if I had any questions, presumably about a root canal (drilling the hell out of my mouth, hoping to patch the tooth a little, costing 1200 dollars) or full extraction (pulling the tooth out, 200 dollars, leaving a gap at the upper back of my mouth).  I asked if they would like chocolate chip muffins next time, I'll bake them tonight and go back tomorrow with them :-)  ***update  "you spoil us Jordan" ***

I've already gotten my next joke ready, if they ask me why I'm in such a good mood while being operated on, I'll say its a) "nervous laughter" and b) "the laughing gas you flood the waiting room/pay area with, for when we have to pay exorbitantly for our dental sins" :-)

On the way to Pak n Save supermarket today, I came across this pharmacy display, in a "drug store" as the Americans say :

The display is "Quit Now, its about Whanau" (Whanau meaning "family" in Maori, the native language of New Zealand).  Quit smoking now, for your family, so you can live to see your family, so your family is not exposed to the harm of second hand tobacco smoke.

However, with my sense of humour, I choose to interpret it as an older woman, with her hair in "curlers", crocheted blanked over her legs, a table made in a secondary school woodwork class, hooked up to a canister of the black stuff John Coffey breathes out in The Green Mile, that her doctor is named Kevorkian. "Quit Now" says the campaign poster for DIY euthanasia tanks of poison, "its about family" - not the life insurance payout you wont get for killing yourself, but the thrill of dying penniless at the time of your choosing, to force your ungrateful adult children into paying for your expensive funeral - HA, that'll teach the wretched brats for never stopping by to talk with mum!

But this latest supermarket theme is a bit much, even for me.

"Celebration of the Kiwi cow" - getting over my dislike of the phrase "kiwi" for the people (and cows) of New Zealand, New Zealanders, the poster boasts of "[celebrating]" the harming and killing of (female) cows (and male bulls presumably) the companies who harm "dairy" cows.  Fresh n Fruity is a non Vegan yoghurt company, Tip Top makes non Vegan icecream, Mainland makes non Vegan cheese, Anchor is a brand of cows milk, which, incidentally, happens to be non Vegan :-)

Ok, not everyone gets the link between dairy, forcing female mammals into pregnancy, taking their milk from them and eventually killing them as they grow old, producing less milk for each round of soon killed children......but the theme continues further the flesh aisle  "Celebration of the cow", with their bodies sold "on special" too, little labels with each discounted price.

Surely Non Vegans too would get why this is a really weird idea?  "lets celebrate the animal we kill for this meat!  I'm sure she'll appreciate looking down from heaven and seeing us celebrate for her!"

Its times like this that you're aware you're in a little "Vegan Bubble", when the hundreds of people around you are Non Vegan, when you feel rather on your own, seeing things very differently.  Banners and posters everywhere, including a seemingly "downed cow"

Even some of the actual trolleys were "Cow Carts" (according to my friend Michael who works at a Pak n Save supermarket).  Its rather something seeing a small child being pushed around in one of these, presumably rather pleased with "the cow".  "Easygoing speciesism" - being pushed around in a "Cow Cart" through a supermarket buying cows milk intended for *her* child, and her actual body with *your* own mother - in a "celebration" paid promotion by the actual cow exploiting industries!

Pak n Save held "the running of the cows" in Auckland....

Heck, these days even "cat food" is sold as "Meat Lovers", containing "Lamb" (baby sheep) and "Beef"(presumably the cows we are "celebrating")

As Mayor Tim Shadbolt mentioned during his time working in a "petfood company", its all "offal", guts boiled up and sealed in cans, which can go horribly wrong.  Next episode I'll include the clips from his Guinness World Record setting 26 hour interview, where he mentions the cans of intestines, brains, tongues etc not being "cooked" for long enough, and the contents rotted, giving off gas, to the point the cans started exploding from the pressure in supermarkets across the country.  It was sold under the brands "Love Your Cat" and "Love Your Dog".

As I went up town today, I stopped inside the SBS building (Southland Banking Society)

(Google Maps Streetview is always eager to help out!)

Just inside their main doors to the other, non SBS bank sections of the large building, by the elevators we see that the Alliance slaughterhouse chain (and the Alliance website) take up much of the second, third and fourth floors:

Sometimes you can be all to aware that the majority of your city isnt Vegan, that the people around you are wearing shoes and belts made from animal skin ("celebrated" or not), that they go to Killing Friendly Chickens and eat Hens and Roosters, that they drink milk from cows.

The Invercargill Vegan Society, with our ten members who pay no membership dues cannot compete on the scale of slaughterhouse chains (a "chain" also being where the sheep and cows are hooked onto, as they are dismembered, as the chain rolls down the line between workers like a "hanging" conveyor belt), it'll be a fair few years before INVSOC tower is built, where we take up parts of the second, third and fourth floors! :-)

We succeed on a smaller scale, by living positive lives, with a sense of humour (dark or otherwise), by being happy people who promote Veganism, respect for others.

I "celebrated" the animals harmed in the New Zealand "dairy" industry by purchasing New Zealand made Soy Ice Cream, by voting with my dollar, that we as vegans do *not* want to be apart for their ongoing harm and exploitation.

On my walk home, I stopped by the INVSOC World Vegan Day tree, and while it has been jokingly referred to as just a "Majestic Twig", like Veganism worldwide, it is growing each day.

The two story building in the centre background is Federated Farmers / Dairy NZ, the Southland headquarters of our other main Non Vegan enterprises.  The Dairy NZ motto is "Profitability, Sustainability, Competitiveness", all about making money.

INVSOC page on "Southlands History"

The sun never sets on Veganism, all across the world there are always people alert and awake working for a world where, to use the totally original INVSOC motto, "all animals are equal".  And like our majestic Kauri tree planted on World Vegan Day, one day we'll be mighty giants, huge in mass and numbers.

Maybe one day we'll be worth a fortune too!

"Farm owner Bruce Tucker said the log would earn him more than $25,000 - 40 per cent of the eventual sale price - and he was told it was for the Beijing World Art Museum"

"It's the oldest workable timber in the world, you just don't get it anywhere else in the world. Once it's gone, it's gone. You are never going to get it back.""

***UPDATE*** the wonderful Robert Guyton of Environment Southland wrote a blogpost sharing one of my photos from Pak n Save :-)

Fresh from visiting local farms on ES business, he shares photos of the ever increasing "factory farm"-isation of Southland farms, where soon enough all the cows will be kept *inside* these structures, farm workers sacked in favour of robot machinery :


  1. There seems to be no way to comment on your next post, so I'll say here and now...yay Janet! I've borrowed your cow-is-a-shopping-cart image and talked about you behind your back, here:


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