Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Episode 86 Vegitators, Vegan Chefs and Two Little Boys

Episode 86 Vegitators, Vegan Chefs and Two Little Boys

2m "Two Little Boys movie premier", "Figwit Lives" and "Go Vegan" signs on the red carpet :-)
13m Hiphopopotamus vs Rhymenoceros
16m "The Vegitators" Invercargill Vegan Society win charity pub quiz
29m "Speak Up For Animals" protest Foie Gras
35m Chef going Vegan for a month Ben James interview
55m Business Time - "business hours are over, babbbbbbyyyyy!"

World Vegan Day 2012 approaches, 1st November, I'd love to have an audio clip of you to include in my World Vegan Day 2012 special episode :-)
please send clips to , or get on touch through the Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals Facebook group :-)

Listen now by downloading directly from here or, better yet, subscribe in iTunes to get each episode automagically!
Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals iTunes link

Hello and welcome to Episode 86 of Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals, your favourite show from the Invercargill Vegan Society.

While I like the videos of Hen Friends I share on YouTube, I cant quite claim they're the best movies made by the Invercargill Vegan Society, because……….a New Zealand movie involving TWO Invercargill Vegan Society members has recently come out.   Steve appears as an extra in a scene, and Natalie worked on editing the movie, credited as both "Behind The Scenes Crew" and "Editorial Trainee".  Until my backyard videos of Hens sleeping on my knee significantly improve, New Zealand blockbuster movie Two Little Boys will remain the biggest and best movie INVSOC is partly, kinda responsible for :-)  Two Little Vegans, one onscreen as an extra, another editing the movie!  We're moving up in the world, the last big movie filmed in Invercargill (and on actual film) involved, to the best of my knowledge, No Vegans.  No Vegans in The Worlds Fastest Indian, but it did star Sir Anthony Hopkins, whose crowning achievement Silence of the Lambs made me go vegetarian in the first place.  All that talk of "IT puts the lotion on ITS skin", and killing humans to wear OUR skin……its enough to make you go ve-gan.

I've got a blogpost about the Two Little Boys premier on the shows blog, , its also in this episodes shownotes.  Its joined by a second post, after I'd seen the movie with Steve, showing where some of the filming locations are, including the well known monument which was literally a stones throw away outside from the movie theatre where we were watching the movie!  I took a couple photos of the movie screen from my seat in the theatre, coz you're allowed to do that…..right?  The HD video I started recording on my phone turned out crap, we were sitting in one of the front rows, so I'll have to go back a SECOND time to get the whole movie, but don't worry, I'll have it up on Bit Torrent soon enough.

Until then, heres a 3 News report on the movies opening, Two Little Boys stars Hamish Blake, an Australian comedian, and our very own Bret McKenzie, who you might best remember from Flight of the Conchords on HBO a few years ago.

Waiting beside the red carpet, I recognized the Kool and the Gang song, Jungle Boogie from Pulp Fiction!

Um, there was also "The Wellington International Ukelele Orchestra", who played songs on….um, their Ukeleles!

I went to the red carpet event JUST to get a photo of Bret McKenzie with my home made sign.  You know, those things that oscar winning celebrities like Bret McKenzie are obligated to pose with for fan photos?  Yeah, those.

I waited in the cold and the rain just to get a photo with a sign I'd spray painted a couple hours earlier.  A rather cryptic message of "Figwit Lives".  I think most of the reporters and other fans with "Marry me Brett/Hamish" thought I was some religious zealot, that Figwit was some kind of Old Testament name for Jesus or something!

So who is Figwit you ask?  Why, only a cult fan favourite extra from Lord of the Rings!  Bret McKenzie is in the background at one of the Elven scenes, the whole "who will take the ring?  You have my axe and my shotgun and my fully automatic assault rifle" bit.  His "character" is unnamed, just an extra in the scene, I'll let this ancient news report from way back in 2004 explain the Figwit phenomenon, sounds like the video was recorded on VHS tape!

I thought I'd keep the internet meme going, in real life.

If you look on the Figwit Wikipedia entry, you'll see the photo I took of actor Bret McKenzie with my crappy "figwit lives!" sign!  F-I-G W-I-T, fig wit, right there on Wikipedia.

I was pretty happy that he'd let me take a photo of him with my sign, I thought I'd aim to get one thing right, the photo, and so didn't record any audio with him on the red carpet.  I held my sign "Figwit Lives" for about twenty minutes waiting for him to walk down the red carpet, and when he finally came past, I asked him "can I take a photo of you with my sign?", and he said "of course" with a smile.  

If he'd had time, I would have asked him to do a Flight of the Conchords rap with me, right there on the red carpet.  Imagine how irritating that would be for him, some guy with a spray painted sign, "ooh, ooh, Brett, Brett, I watch you on tv and stuff!  And huh, I saw you get that golden man statue thing, the uhhh, emmy?  OSCAR!  OSCAR, I knew that, you won an Oscar, thaaaaaaats right.  Um, so you be you, rapping your part from a 2007 Flight of the Conchords episode, and I'll take over Jermaines part, ok?  Cool!"

The episode "Mugged" is about the two naive New Zealanders being robbed while new to New York City.  Their precious Cameraphone is even taken, albeit reluctantly, an actual film camera glued onto a crappy old cellphone, "cameraphones" were still somewhat new back in 2007!  And here I was at the movie premier, five years later, taking a photo of Brett McKenzie using my iPhone.  And as the New Yorkers rob and steal the precious film camera glued onto an old cellphone, the Flight of the Conchords duo introduce themselves through the medium of rap:

"[J:]They call me the Hiphopopotamus
Flows that glow like phosphorous
Poppin' off the top of this esophagus
Rockin' this metropolis
I'm not a large water-dwelling mammal
Where did you get that preposterous hypothesis?
Did Steve tell you that, perchance?
hmm, steve!"


It would have been cool to a cappella rap on the red carpet with an oscar winner for best song, but theres no way I could have remembered all that in my starstruck, tongue tied condition!  I would have looked like the Flight of the Conchords character "Mel" enough as it was, an obsessed fan.

I didn't miss all my opportunities though, the painted sign said "Figwit Lives" on one side, and "Go Vegan" on the other!  I took turns with each side facing out.  I didn't particularly flash the Go Vegan side at the rich women walking down the red carpet in their animal furs, or the tough looking men in their animal skin shoes and belts, but it was there.  I've got a photo with some of the hired "Norwegian Tourist looking for their friend Jurgen who is killed in the movie" with my sign, "now, as you guys know, being from Norway right, "Vegan" is a small seaside town, up in the fiords of Norway, right?  Yeah, of course, you guys knew that!"  They went along with it, and you can see the actors posing as overseas tourists, all covered in backpacks and with maps of Invercargill, "hello, we're looking for our friend Jurgen, have you seen Jurgen?" up on my blog,

So what else has the Invercargill Vegan Society gotten up to since episode 85?  Well, its not all red carpet movie premier sign taking, and being an extra in the movie,and editing the movie for our local Vegans.  We also attend pub quizzes, to raise money for a young girl who needed eye surgery.

Steve and Kerri asked if we'd join a school quiz, fundraising for Rubys operations.  Katharine and myself leapt at the chance to answer questions, and to show off what we've learnt from book reading in her case, Wikipedia in mine.  Did you know Wikipedia has a lot of entries about Lord of the Rings extras?  Well it does now, even fan made signs that the actors were coerced into posing with!

The quiz was held at the Glengarry Tavern, and the name we decided upon was "The Vegitators".  Next time I'll bribe the others to go with "Invercargill Vegan Society", so that the announcer has to read our animal rights organizations name all the time over the speaker system, free advertising.  "The Vegitators" sounded cool though, especially when he placed emphasis on it during his reading of the team names.

Katharine, Jordan, Steve, Kerri and their son Jess entered the fundraising quiz.  We absolutely kicked butt!  Ahead on points from the first or second round!  There was a big projector screen showing an Excel spreadsheet of scores, and every now and then we'd check to see where we were, amazed that we were winning, first out of 39 teams, a couple hundred people in the pub.  Of course, I took photos of the screen showing "The Vegitators" in the pole position, and you can see those on my blog, , theres a link in this episodes shownotes.

Heres the results of the last round, so you can see how the questions went, we got a few of these wrong.

As we went to claim our prize, which included a painting donated by a local man,  one of the sore losers noticed I had my phone out, recording an audio clip, "he's got an iPhone!", meaning that I'd been looking up all the answers on our mate Wikipedia all night!  Of course we hadn't………..because if Kerri and Katharine had put aside their precious little ethics, we would have gotten ALL the damn answers right!

one of the school teachers said how it had been a late night for our youngest team member Jess.

It was really fun to work together with an All Vegan quiz team, we'll have to do it again, could be quite lucrative!  

Throughout the night, there were a whole bunch of raffle prizes given out.  Animal skin boxing gloves signed by a New Zealand boxer, killed Sooty Shearwater birds, we kill the babies just before they learn to fly as adults, they live underground like Rabbits, in burrows, and we kill them as they start to come out, "muttonbirds" they're called when killed, Sooty Shearwater, beautiful dark albatross looking birds while alive.  Skinned legs from baby Lambs were raffled away, Salmon flesh and Non Vegan Cheese.

I would have LOVED to have made a winners speech, about how we Invercargill Vegan Society vegans cleaned up, that they should bury the bodies of the animals won from raffles, and stick to the fruits and vegetables.  I would have went into a drunken, slurring rendition of "weeeeeee are the championnnnnnns, weeeeeeeeeee are the championnnnnnnnnnnnnns, no time for loooooserss……..coz we are the championssssss……of this school fundraiser quizzzzzzzzzz……."

One of the teachers would have had to pull me down off the stage, as the thrown beer bottles exploded in a rockets red glare, "you JERK, no time for losers?  We're running this fundraiser to help the parents of the little girl pay off an eye operation, she lost an eye to cancer!  Now get outta here and never enter our quiz again!"

Even without imagining such a shameful ending, of rubbing our mighty victory in all the other 38 teams faces, and lecturing them on veganism, it was a pretty cool night for the Invercargill Vegan Society representatives.  And the money raised went to a good cause, helping Rubys family with her hospital care.

Its not the ONLY cool night INVSOC had had in the last month though, that would be both forgetting our manners AND our fantastic potluck!

One last story.

Wellington group Speak Up For Animals protest against Foie Gras, a local restaurant sells tinned duck liver.  Its illegal to do this to ducks in New Zealand, but apparently they can get around our laws by importing it, its illegal to make, recognized as "too cruel", yet its ok to import….sounds a bit weird, eh?  "you cant do it here, just do it over there somewhere".

The group have a great campaign of putting "Vegan Food Sold Here" signs around Wellington cafes and restaurants, its fantastic!  We plan on doing something similar here in Invercargill.

In this news report, we see that their Foie Gras campaign is focused solely on banning Foie Gras…..BUT, the chef is interviewed, and he mentions that they are "va-GUNN", he knows they are Vegan!  So in a weird way, Veganism is brought up in the news report, by the actual restaurant being protested, the owner mentioned the people with signs outside are vegan!

This particular chef says he doesn't mind Vegans, but what if there were a chef who was actually BEING Vegan?  A Non Vegan chef who was giving the Vegan lifestyle a try?

Well, maybe there IS such a chef, mr Ben James, of the Raupo Cafe in Blenheim:

How absolutely fantastic to hear that a group of Non Vegan chefs were giving Veganism a go, not just as a diet, but in what they wore too, a vegan lifestyle.  They were still preparing and selling Non Vegan orders, but as Ben said, he'd have no problem working in an all Vegan restaurant, which is great to hear, if demand is there.

Now, as Vegans, its our goal to increase demand, so that Ben can perhaps run an all Vegan restaurant.  

And Veganism is growing, apparently in Blenheim, where I hope chef Ben will continue being Vegan along with his friends, and here in Invercargill. 

At the last Green Drinks meeting, discussing environmental politics, renewable energy, and why the devil I was expected to pay 5 dollars for a single glass of Lemon Lime and Bitters at the Non Vegan-lly named "Zookeepers Cafe"  when I could walk a couple hundred metres to Pak n Save supermarket and buy a FOUR pack of the exact same product for the same five dollar price………….it turned out there was another Vegan there!

And not just my friend Dan, who visited with her friend Emily who attended our last potluck.  No, there were Jordan, Dan…..and a local nutritionist who saw the INVSOC poster Dan had put up at our hospital a year ago!  An A4 bit of paper that had been stuck to the cafeteria wall for over a year!  Luke saw the poster, looked up our website, , and came along to the Green Drinks meeting advertised on our Events page.  

It was incredible to meet him, another Vegan, who found out about our group, and came along to meet me at Green Drinks.

You never know where you'll run into Veganism, be it "Go Vegan" on the other side of a "Figwit Lives" sign at a movie premier, in a local pub quiz where the all Vegan "Team Vegitators" clean up, "Ve-gunn"'s mentioned by a protested restaurant owner on the news, or in the Raupo cafe, where chef Ben James is trying out the Vegan lifestyle.

May we live in interesting times!

This saturday, Invercargill is having another Spring Eco Festival.  I attended last year, a one man stall for the Invercargill Vegan Society, giving away Boston Vegan Association pamphlets and vegan chocolate cake.  You can see photos of Eco Festival 2011 on the INVSOC site, on the events page.

This year, hopefully other vegans will stop by and answer any questions about Veganism festival goers demand be answered.   I'll have plenty more baking, muffins this time, banana chocolate chip, lemon and maybe chocolate, just to cover all bases, the three basic components of human taste: banana, lemon, chocolate.

I'll cover the Eco Festival next episode…….and after that?  Well, World Vegan Day is coming up mighty quick, the 1st of November, less than a month away!

INVSOC has a whole bunch of plans for the big day, the holiest global holiday of Veganism, which is actually secular, but its a day worth worshipping all the same!

I'm planning another World Vegan Day episode, featuring clips of Vegans from around the world, telling us about things in their area.  Episode 67 was very popular, it featured over thirty vegans!

If you'd like to be included in the World Vegan Day 2012 episode, please send me a clip!  I can include an audio clip, or, I could playback the audio from a video clip.  The best way to get in touch with your clip would be through Facebook, through the Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals Facebook page, or email it to me directly,

I plan on releasing the World Vegan Day 2012 episode late on the 1st of November, New Zealand time.  We'll hold our festivities here, and then I hope to finish off the episode that night, to have it ready for the rest of the world, as you guys catch up, and celebrate YOUR World Vegan Day, which actually be the second of November in my time, New Zealand time.

I'd love to include as many thirty second to a couple minute long clips as possible.  The main topics of your clip might be how 2012 has been for you as a Vegan, what you plan to do on World Vegan Day 2012 to celebrate, ie having a potluck with your friends, or ringing into local radio stations and talking to the bored host about Veganism until she hangs up on you, or heck, maybe you'll celebrate World Vegan Day by wearing matching socks for a change, its up to you!  

What have been some of the highlights of Veganism in 2012 for you?  Has there been any particular news coverage which you've really loved?  And how do you see Veganism going forward in 2013?  Will this be the year that the world magically goes Vegan overnight?  We'll soon see!

I'd love to include you on the super special World Vegan Day 2012 episode :-)

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

If you want to contact me, I'd really love to hear from YOU, please send me an email to

I'm also on Facebook and Twitter, Jordan Wyatt, W Y A T T and please, "like" our groups, Invercargill Vegan Society, and Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals.

I'll end with a Flight of the Conchords song, about whats goin on in the world, sort of Marvin Gaye style.  Thank you for listening.


Interview with Ben James, chef trying out Vegan lifestyle!

Foie Gras news report, chef mentions "vay-gunns" :-)

"Killboy Powerhead" by The Offspring, which Katharine listened to while cooking for our last potluck!  I gotta introduce her to Michael Jackson's music!

New INVSOC "Potluck" page, where you'll find all our monthly potluck dinners archived :-)

Invercargill Vegan Society team wins fundraising quiz, "Team Vegitators"

Bret McKenzie on Figwit, NZ news video from 2004?

Two Little Boys coverage

The Southland Times red carpet

3 News (clip played on this episode)

Brett, Maaka interview


TVNZ red carpet, ditched to record inside!

Sunday before premier

Bret Mckenzie 2012 Oscar for Best Original Song, "Man or Muppet" from The Muppets

Flight of the Conchords episode "Mugged", rap song"Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros" played during the episode, with yours truly taking part of Jermaines lines :-)

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