Thursday, June 14, 2012

Episode 82 Sergeant Dan's Oatmilk : From Southland With Love

Episode 82 Sergeant Dan's Oatmilk : From Southland With Love

Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt sets a 26 hour long interview Guinness World Record, talking about "Non Vegan" "petfood" and Auckland Island Pigs Xenotransplantation along the way, Dairy Exploitation, *Sheeps Milk* Exploitation, "Classes Apart", Professor Roger Yates on worker conduct, Food Innovation Network on creating Oatmilk here from World Record Oat growing Southland, Sergeant Dan the Creamoata Man- a 1950's childrens porridge mascot with the potential to promote Plantmilk, Transition Towns, Forest and Bird meetings, Auckland Vegan Potlucks and Invercargill Vegan Society Potlucks

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Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals iTunes link

Hello and welcome to another fine episode of Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals, Episode 82 - Sergeant Dan's Oatmilk, From Southland With Love

This episode, a whole bunch of local Invercargill stories which I *hope* you'll find interesting.

First off, why not start with our interesting and very…………..quirky…….unusual….odd…..mayor of Invercargill, they "may-or", the guy in charge.

Seems like I'm not the only guy in Invercargill who can talk on and on and on! In future, I'll try and keep episodes to a reasonable length, but it wont be easy!

I'm more in favour of the Wonka approach:

Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt has been there, done that, bought the T Shirt. He's lived in communes, led more protest marches than Ghandi, been arrested and thrown in jail…..and now he's mayor of my city, go figure.

One of his life experiences during the 26 hour interview included working at a quote "pet food" factory, a NON VEGAN Petfood factory, putting "offal" into cans. Have you ever thought about how we call our intestines and hearts and kidneys and livers "Vital Organs", but when we kill Other Animals, they are just waste, just "offal"? Its a heck of a difference, from Vital Organs which you are absolutely dead without, and when we see someone else as an "it", a thing, as property, then their same liver, heart, lungs, intestines are "offal", waste, slop.

The symbolism carries through when you see how Non Vegan Petfood is sold, with all kinds of branding, photoshopped cats and dogs on the can of "wet" petfood, or bag for "dry" petfood. The brand that the future leader of our city was making up there when he lived in the North Island was sold as "love your cat" and "love your dog" petfood. And it, like all "petfood", was essentially the nastiest things you can imagine, poured in a can, and boiled up - all hidden behind branding about being such a lovely, responsible petowner by buying such a fantastic product!

This story was amazing to listen to, it certainly makes me keep an even wider berth of the Non Vegan petfood at our local Invercargill supermarkets!

During the 26 hour live televised interview, you could send in messages of support to be shown onscreen, moving across the bottom for viewers to see. I sent in a few messages promoting Veganism, one of which I recorded on my phone and have uploaded to YouTube. A message about the Invercargill Vegan Society scrolled past on television to viewers around the world, many viewing live through the internet, and a copy of the Vegan message video has been seen over 2000 times, by people wanting to see recordings of Mayor Shadbolts world record breaking interview. Simple ways to promote Veganism, it didn't cost anything to get our message shown on television :-)

Another story shared by Shadbolt thats interesting from an Animal Rights perspective is about the Auckland Island Pigs. I've had episodes about them before, pigs taken from Sub Antarctic islands where they were left to be living rations for whale and seal killers back in the day, who were mostly killed for being "introduced species" who might eat native plants on these barren rocks, and eat the eggs of nesting New Zealand native birds, oh dear!

Some of the pigs were spared execution by the "Department of Conservation" staff who lept from helicopters and boats, with their pig dogs, dogs trained for hunting and helping to kill pigs. Somehow we found out these animals were "disease free" thanks to living by themselves in the bottom of the world, away from viruses spread from pig to pig, and so they were found to be suitable for xenotransplantation. Their pancreas is taken, and the pigs are killed, all the while having lived in sterile conditions, in concrete prison cells which are waterblasted daily. For means of "Welfare", they are allowed out in groups to play with staff and "special pig toys" for "intellectual stimulation", but they will never feel the wind, or see grass, they live in the sterile, ultra clean equivalent of a "colony cage". Have you heard of "bubble boys", people born effectively without an immune system, so they live inside of a plastic bubble, or room? These are Bubble Pigs, and not in the good, Vegan Bubble way.

Here Mayor Shadbolt describes the what the Auckland Island pigs go through, which is rarely heard in New Zealand, on my blog I've included an Australian video tour of the facility just ten minutes or so down the road from my house, as far as I know, the New Zealand media have never shown video from inside before, we're kept in the dark about how these pigs are kept out of the real, nonsterile world.

Of course, almost all New Zealanders eat pigs, so it shouldn't be a shock that these pigs are also killed for our use, in this case, diabetes research, and what seems to be a cure, or at least a very effective aide.

Our local media covers The Auckland Island Pigs in limited detail, news of when theres going to be another huge expansion of the breeding facilities around the area, talk of how great it will be for our economy, and for saving lives worldwide, by harming and killing these pigs who are kept in a sterile existence - I bet they'd prefer a Vegan world, where they'd have a virile life, full of life! :-)

After Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt broke the Guinness World Record for worlds longest interview at over 26 hours, he was interviewed by John Campbell, on the 3 News show Campbell Live:

A recent blogpost you can find at mentions storys from a local slaughterhouse, "South Pacific Meats", well known in our region for being covered by The Southland Times media about numerous breaches of worker health and safety, union crushing, quote "effluent" endquote problems, you name it. In one Southland Times story, 18 out of 20 "sawmen" were found to be high on drugs, the people using this dangerous machinery designed to quickly cut through entire bodies was being used by people under the influence of drugs, and people were losing fingers, one man had to be taken to hospital to save his entire arm. In the blogpost, I've included photos found online of workers posing as they do various explicit things, such as scrawling in the blood of sheep which workers are supposedly homosexual on the white walls of the slaughterhouse. The blogpost doesn't directly link to these potentially upsetting images, but has links to a copy of them, you don't have to look at them unless you choose to.

Its a bizarre story to think about this happening just a few kilometres from my work, but the nature of a slaughterhouse is not to be kind and help Other Animals, they are driven there to be killed.

On my original podcast show, JayWontdarts podcast, using the default name given to it by the program I use to record, GarageBand (or "garaaaaaaageband").

Episode 32 of the show, "Freezing Works" contains an interview with my father, a longtime Slaughterhouse worker, about his job. Heres a short snippet of my fathers interview:

Lovely. You can find a link to Episode 32 of my original podcast in *this* episode of Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals shownotes on the blog.

Its not always that interesting doing the same job day in, day out, and I would think even less so when you are working with knifes, blood and freezers, for these export slaughterhouses which send killed animals from New Zealand to the rest of the world. And many New Zealanders are directly linked to slaughterhouse work, many of my school friends went on to be "dairy" farmers or slaughterhouse workers, like my father, and many uncles. Our Prime Ministers, leaders of the country have worked at "The Works", and come election time, candidates often leaflet our area with pandering mentions that they've been just like us working class folk, they worked at slaughterhouses to put themselves through university.

Any accounts of slaughterhouse life will include all kinds of abuse stories, of workers going above and beyond the call of duty to do "extra" things to Other Animals. Ive heard of throwing guts, also known as "vital organs" in humans or "offal" when ripped OUT of Other Animals being thrown at one another playfully, and now have seen photos of workers doing strange things with the blood of killed animals. Sociologist Dr Roger Yates has an in-depth article about this, titled "Classes Apart", putting on my best Professorial voice, I'll read it for you:


Thank you Roger for your fantastic blog and show, which can be found online at

I enjoy hearing quirky clips about Non Vegan people making a connection between animals, and the food and "items" they buy. I hope you'll enjoy these clips as much as I do.

The first two are from the British show The Bugle, a fun news show costarring John Oliver who you might recognize from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, he calls in to host The Bugle with Andy Zalztman, who lives in London, and they cover UK themes and world news in an entertaining way.

This clip from Bugle 163 features Andy linking "Dairy" to quote "exploitation", that Mother cows do no *want* to be "milked", which is very interesting to hear a Non Vegan person make the connection publicly.

However, this clip from Bugle 192 refers to humans as being "not animals", which we are of course, human animals, in particular mammals, as we produce milk for our young, you know, like cows! The usage "….they're not animals…" is used in the "not being rude, not being wild, we have manners, we're not ANIMALS!" context of French execution:

We are, of course, Animals, whether you're a French animal, or a New Zealand animal :-)

Here are two clips denying that we're animals, one from an NPR Intelligence Squared US debate about prostitution :

So women are not Chickens, and according to this Radio New Zealand Mediawatch episode, women are also, apparently, not dairy cows anymore :

Of course, female cattle, Cows do not produce milk nonstop just for fun, like all mammals, human women included, they produce milk after being pregnant, for their babies, for their children.

But we here in New Zealand, Southland in particular, have always been keen to push the boundaries of who IS counted as a "dairy cow", to the point where we're even making sheep pregnant, taking their resultant children off the mothers and then selling their milk, or at least, TRYING to sell it:

well so far New Zealanders, even Prime Minister John Key have seemed pretty put off by the thought of drinking breast milk from mother sheep! Key even seemed grossed out in the 3 News report about its export overseas quote

<"…thats a great example of that, something that may or may not be of tremendous interest in New Zealand, but is an interesting product for the Asian markets…", >

The actual owner of the business describes the supposed reaction of the Indonesian people to New Zealand sheeps milk:

< "…they like the product, it fits their psyche, its small ruminant, its easily digested…">

, sounds a pretty unusual way of talking if you ask me, walking down the aisles of Pak n Save supermarket Invercargill on Tay street, "hmmm, I'm looking for something that fits my psyche, its been a stressful day here at the office, so I'm in the mood for something from a small ruminant mammal…..ahhhh, that hit the spot!" :-)

Thankfully though, we Southlanders are not just into milking cows and now sheep - we're granting humble Oats in the "Dairy Cattle" status, you know, the product you might normally eat as porridge, or "Oatmeal", or currently, as imported Australian made Oatmilk.

I contacted the Food Innovation Network, a New Zealand testbed for new food products and analysis after seeing mention that Southland oats might be made into Southland Oatmilk in The Southland Times.

Heres a reply I got from the Food Innovation Network's centre director John Morgan mentioning :

"it looks viable or at the very least worthy of further investigation.  I note your positive comments about developing local non-dairy milk industry.  In fact the non-dairy milk options in the supermarkets are almost 100% imported.

What happens next is up to Southland I guess.   You may like to contact Venture Southland direct if you want to know more.


John Morgan
Centre Director"

Contact Venture Southland eh? Well, ok! Here goes!

What an awesome development, I hope it goes ahead. I usually buy Australian made Soymilk, but would be glad to support a local Southland industry. I've got a 1 litre carton of Oatmilk here, made by our friends in Australian, so lets give it a try…..I'll mute the mic so you don't get all those lovely gulping sounds…..

Well, its a heck of a lot thinner as a liquid than the soymilk I drink, and tastes different, but not bad, not bad at all. It would be great to export *plantmilk* to the rest of the world. I'm sure it would suit all of our "psyches" better than drinking milk from Other Animals as adult humans!!!

I'm not the only one making a change, transitioning from no doubt factory farmed, horrifically live-exported Australian soymilk, to clean green Southland Oatmilk…..hopefully………but Invercargill itself is a "Transition Town". I went to a meeting of Transition Town Invercargill to see what it was all about, and lo and behold, it was hosted by my Catholic primary school principal, Sister Judith Robinson! I may be all grown up now, and Atheist, but she'll always be Sister Judith.

Woah thats depressing, "well, I'm still alive….", like the villain GladOS from the video game Portal. See, even as an adult, an immature adult, but an adult none the less, I'm still learning from Sister Judith, I'll have to steal that introduction, "hey, how are you, I havnt seen you in years!" Jordan : "well, I'm still alive…." >

WOAH, now THATS a great thing to hear from someone, we human animals are NOT above other animals, especially those who are taller than us like Giraffes.

For the group meeting, the first I'd attended, we discussed ways of making change in the world. We had an exercise where we each had to read from a scrap of paper, and then tell the group an example of making this step of the change.

You know Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire? The book where Harry has to go up against the Hungarian Horntail, and steal this mother dragons egg, her unhatched child? Or at least a golden fake egg amongst all her unhatched children anyway, one that talks to you in mermaid-language when you hold it underwater in a bath, as Harry ended up doing on the advice of Cedric Diggery. Yeah, you remember that, right? Right.

Harry stole the golden egg from poor Ms Mother Hungarian Horntail dragon by changing the task to something he was capable of - he summoned his broom, a manly thing for a wizard to ride, a broomstick, apparently they're only gender stereotyped in the muggle world, brooms are for witches, and using his broom, he managed to fly past and grab the egg from the mother Dragon.

Well, I wasn't exactly what you'd call "competent" at this example, but I knew on a future episode of Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals that I'd talk about our potential for making Oatmilk….so I used *that* as my example of making change in the world, and of planning how to go forward. I stumbled my way through it, but kind of, sort of got there in the end!

The Transition Towns group is great, I look forward to attending meetings in future, like the SECOND Transition Towns meeting I went to last night, planning for the next Spring Eco Festival. Last year, I had a one man table for the Invercargill Vegan Society where I gave out pamphlets and showed photos of Chicken Friends on my iPad, hopefully this year a few of the other local Vegans can join me :-)

After last nights Transition Towns meeting, I ran to a Forest and Bird meeting, held in the local Freemasons hall at 7:30 at night. Forest and Bird are a New Zealand group, about protecting native animals and our environment. On my way there, checking the Forest and Bird website to check I had the meetings address and time right on my phone, I spotted a Hedgehog on someones front lawn, always good to keep your eyes out for other animals, especially a Hedgehog, with their backs filled with prickles!

At the Forest and Bird meeting, I brought up the issue of Oatmilk once again, doing all I can to get people talking about it, "hey guys, wouldn't it be great if Southland moved away from harming and exploiting other mammals, and instead turned to making milk for our breakfast cereal from the actual cereal itself?!?!?". During the Forest and Bird presentation against coal mining, lignite mining in particular, they used an image of a 1950's cereal mascot, sergeant Dan, the Creamoata Man. He's portrayed as a rosy cheeked boy scout, complete with a toy rifle. Designed just after World War II of course, hence the unusual for New Zealand militancy, although I rather like the idea of a porridge/oatmeal brand mascot with a rifle, boasting of how strong he is thanks to eating whats essentially a vegan breakfast! Especially if the milk used is ALSO made out of the "Creamoata" brand of oats, ha! Even though the old factory is no longer used fully, sergeant Dan is not really used anymore, he remains a beloved national brand mascot, with many New Zealanders remembering his image and boasts of fitness due to eating his porridge.

Perhaps people my age would think "Sergeant Dan? You mean LIEUTENANT Dan, from Forest Gump, the guy who loses his legs in the Vietnam War, and is saved against his will by Tom Hanks iconic, clueless character

No no, not Lieutenant Dan, although he was really clever to invest Forests money in one Apple Computer as it first went public, making them rich, good move that now that the shares are currently worth 576 USD each, the company has a market cap of over half a trillion dollars and has a hundred billion dollars in the bank. But our own porridge mascot is even better, since he's promoting not the killing of small marinelife by dragging nets through the ocean with a George Bush Jr-ish character at his side, but porridge instead, a Vegan product, with a gun slung over his shoulder.

My father actually collected the special bowls you got with sergeant Dan advertising on them back in the 50's and 60's. He remembers as a boy racing through his morning porridge to see what message was at the bottom of the bowl, under all the cereal, which of the bowls my grandmother had given him that day. Looking at a few of them now, theres the sergeant Dan mascot in some athletic pose, with a little rhyme. The bowls are clear glass on the sides, and a pastel colour at the bottom, where the mascot and text is printed in red.

The factory still has a 6 metre tall image of him, in his boy scouts uniform, with gun over his shoulder, but its actually an entirely different company now a "stockfood" company which harvests cereals and grains for "stockfood", giving to pigs, sheep, goats, cows, horses rather than aimed at human adults who long for the 1950's boyscout and his firearm. The mascot was bought by the company along with the factory, but its no longer Creamoata, but "sergeant Dans Stockfoods". I have museli containing a good portion of rolled oats each morning, and when I let my Hen Friends out of their brick houses, I scatter rolled oats from an old metal ex army ammo tin. I used to keep their oats in a plastic container, but apparently we have mice, and they were able to chew through the plastic, so metal container it is! Looking at my Hen Friends, Whole Hen, Hurt Hen, Yellow Hen, Curious Hen and Geiger Hen, oats make you strong and healthy, also, your feathers become really shiny. Its a great, simple product, and its Vegan.

Here I am bringing up the topic of Oatmilk out of nowhere at the Forest and Bird meeting, to a puzzled audience.

I'd imagine EVEN MY FATHER, a former slaughterhouse worker might be at the least PROUD to see his beloved boyhood cereal mascot of sergeant Dan brought back to life, and who knows, maybe it would be enough to switch my father from Southland milk taken from other animals, to Southland Oatmilk!

One last positive story about making change, actually, its sort of TWO for the price of one.

I hear those those Vegans up there in Auckland, our largest city of 1.4 million people, well over a quarter of New Zealands population have themselves a little Vegan potluck thing TOO. Personally, I think they heard about how well the Invercargill Vegan Society was doing, and decided to rip us off. We usually get 6-10 people around at each potluck held at my house, not bad for our population of 50,000 here in Invercargill. In Auckland, at THEIR knockoff Vegan Potluck, they get 10-20, so we're doing quite well for ourselves! However, to encourage more people to go to the Auckland potluck, and also to lure them down to Invercargill with the promise of future baking, I sent up some Banana Chocolate Chip muffins by overnight courier to the North Island, some 1200 km to my friend Susan. Susan also looks after Hen Friends, Persistence and Big Hen. And our friend Romina who lives nearby Susan also has Hen Friends, including one called Susan who you can see on our We Are INVSOC page, showing Vegans all around the world with their Invercargill Vegan Society badges. , you'll see the We Are Vegan page there.

No doubt thanks to the people of Auckland being alerted on the Auckland Vegans Facebook group about my fantastic baking skills, they had a whopping 40 something people show up! And I'd only sent 22 muffins!

And as for the genuine accept no imitations Invercargill Vegan Society Potluck?

Heres to the day when the whole world is NOT buying Invercargill Sheeps Milk from a factory I walk past every day, whether it "suits their psyche" or not, and forget about our slaughterhouse exports : Heres to the rest of the world paying 200 dollars for each New Zealand Apple, and $150 dollars for a New Zealand Pear, as suggested in Episode 71.

A world where we wash down our morning porridge (Oatmeal) or for the "Socialist" countries like Obama-erica, daily gruel ration, with Southland Oat Milk.

Forget about "love your cat" and "love your dog" exploding gut nonsense, we could PROUDLY name our potential plantmilk "sergeant Dan's Southland Oatmilk", with the tagline of: "From Southland, With Love",

Thank you for listening to Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals.

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Thank you for listening.


From Russia With Love (James Bond book/movie)

Sergeant Dan the Creamoata Man (former Southland brand mascot for a porridge/oatmeal company)

The Southland Times "Oats May Overtake Hydrogen"

audio interview for this episode with Alister Adam of Venture Southland on Oatmilk

Blue River Dairy (sheeps milk) goes to Indonesia, 3 News

Tim Shadbolt goes for World Interview Record

The Simpsons clip "Girly Edition" episode Krusty "well you're not taking any time from MY show!….its the leanest three hours……"

Tim Shadbolt 26 hour interview, Invercargill Vegan Society message scrolls past in video, 2000 views so far! :-)

Auckland Island Pigs, Xenotransplantation, medical experiments in Invercargill - article from 2010

Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals blogpost on local slaughterhouse South Pacific Meats and bizarre goings on inside, graphic photos

My first show's blog, Episode 32 Freezing Works where my father is interviewed about being a slaughterhouse worker

On Human-Nonhuman Relations, "Classes Apart" on slaughterhouse workers

on talking about a topic *you* want to talk about :-) (ie bringing up Vegan issues when asked to talk about change at Transition Towns meeting)

Intelligence Squared US debate "Its Wrong To Pay For Sex" "women are not Chicken"

Mayor Tim Shadbolt on 7 Days, jokes

Forest Gump, Lieutenant Dan

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