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The Animal Person Minute: On Internet Debates


Disclaimer: I haven’t been to a McDonald’s in years.

Today’s photo is of my husband Dave, on the left, and his brother Joth getting french fries at the McDonald’s in Asheville across from the Biltmore. At about 11 pm, after 6 hours at our family wedding and not eating anything (it wasn’t exactly a vegan friendly affair), and after having dropped off 40 people at their hotel, it was Dave, Joth and I in our very own tour bus with our very own, very accommodating tour guide/bus driver. Mickey Dees was closed, so Dave and Joth walked in the back door into the kitchen and promptly asked for three orders of large fries.

Upon being told they had to use the drive through, which was impossible with the behemoth tour bus, they walked through the drive through and here they are paying.

Those fries were the best I’ve had in years and if they were fried in greyhound oil I don’t want to know.

Today’s topic is two interesting discussions that have nothing to do with me that you might want to join. I’ve already mentioned the one at Grist regarding Alicia Silverstone’s PETA ad, and Ellie and Ruxandra have been conversing with Bruce Friedrich and some others and, man or woman, you should chime in if you think you’ve got something to add. I will forever be astonished that there is even a debate about this and some people do not see some of PETA’s ads as objectifying women, or sexist, or at the very least downright insulting, but that’s me. While you’re at the Grist site, by all means check out the discussion around, and the link to, anti-feminist bingo, which is AWESOME!

The other discussion is at a new social networking site called Rethos, which seems something like Zaadz, but a bit less spiritual maybe? I’m not sure yet. I have a Zaadz account and I must say that my experience on the site hasn’t been great. The moment I signed up I received dozens of e-mails from people who wanted me to buy their books, go to their seminars, or otherwise be involved in their thing. There’s a huge Ken Wilbur and Integral contingent, which you may or may not like. Just know it’s there. And of course, John Mackey, illustrious CEO of Whole Foods and his Flow Project are ubiquitous. Again, maybe you care, maybe you don’t.

I signed up at Rethos after Terry at Sled Dog Watch Dog told me about it, and the first thing that caught my eye was a debate called The Meat Industry and the Environment, which introduces last year’s Long Shadow study for discussion. Please note that some of the people involved in the discussion aren’t convinced that vegetarianism (let alone veganism) is the way to go and they aren’t aware of the many reasons that it might in fact be the only way to go if they believe in nonviolence. As always, be kind while you’re being informative, and keep the language simple. We are so accustomed to the lingo of our "movement" and often behave as if the entire world knows what we’re talking about or attributes the same meaning to words as we do. That is alienating to others and doesn’t help us (or the animals!). I did already inject Gary Francione into the conversation (someone recommended Peter Singer, so that tells you something about where people are coming from), but I’m sure the readership, however big or small, could use more encouragement, facts, and reasoning regarding veganism and abolition.

12 Comments Post a comment
  1. I didn't get the point of the McDonald's story.

    September 25, 2007
  2. "if they were fried in greyhound oil I don't want to know" LOL, I know that feeling.

    Sometimes a blog post is just a blog post.

    September 25, 2007
  3. Kenneth,
    I was just explaining the picture with the brief story. People don't usually walk through the drive thru, so that makes the picture sort of funny (to me!).

    September 25, 2007
  4. I walk through the drive through when I have the dog with me because if I tie him up and go inside he tends to bark… it does get me some funny looks.

    September 25, 2007
  5. Ok…I was looking for a serious message, when in fact there was none 😉 And yes, it is funny.

    September 26, 2007
  6. nope, no greyhounds.

    French Fries:
    Potatoes, vegetable oil (partially hydrogenated soybean oil, natural beef flavor (wheat and milk derivatives)*, citric acid (preservative), dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (maintain color), dimethylpolysiloxane (antifoaming agent)), salt. Prepared in vegetable oil ((may contain one of the following: Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, partially hydrogenated corn oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness), dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent). *CONTAINS: WHEAT AND MILK (Natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients.)

    September 27, 2007
  7. McDonalds? Tell me you're kidding, right? The last time I was at a McDonalds was around 1994, and I was distributing anti-slaughter brochures in the parking lot. I would not go into a McDonalds even to pass urine. Last time I was in a Burger King was as an Air Quality Specialist in 2002, telling them their smoke emissions were in violation of opacity laws.

    McDonalds fries are cooked in vegetarian oil, but the fries themselves have bovine fat in the ingredients, as do about half of all frozen fries. I've heard it makes frozen fries turn brown better.

    Better to go hungry for a long time than to eat McDonalds food.


    Feminism… Why'd you have to bring that up? Feminism is a very big step taking the world to hell. This is discussed in Bhagavad-gita ( ), Arjuna speaking with Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead:

    BG 1.40: When irreligion is prominent in the family, O Krishna, the women of the family become polluted, and from the degradation of womanhood, O descendant of Vrishni, comes unwanted progeny.

    BG 1.41: An increase of unwanted population certainly causes hellish life both for the family and for those who destroy the family tradition. The ancestors of such corrupt families fall down, because the performances for offering them food and water are entirely stopped.

    BG 1.42: By the evil deeds of those who destroy the family tradition and thus give rise to unwanted children, all kinds of community projects and family welfare activities are devastated.

    BG 1.43: O Krishna, maintainer of the people, I have heard by disciplic succession that those who destroy family traditions dwell always in hell.

    What to speak of animal rights? Feminists shamelessly demand the right to slaughter their own progeny in the name of sexual freedom; and those who actually give birth to their babies typically put them into the hands of a stranger all day to get a little extra money or just to get away from their children. What could be more wretched? Arjuna does not even mention this; he probably could not think of humanity ever becoming so sinful.

    September 27, 2007
  8. Pandu, I believe that McDonald's was outted for using beef fat and they stopped years ago.

    But Jason . . . . milk-derived ingredients? That sucks. Now I'm a bit queasy.

    In my defense, I haven't been to a fast food restaurant of any kind in years and I didn't know about the milk. Oh, and since we all were being chauffeured around all weekend, we, um, drank more wine than usual (part of my husband's family make wine in Napa and Sonoma, so they're a bit more into the ol' vino than most people). Can I use that in my defense? I know ignorance of the law is no excuse, but is being a bit tipsy an excuse?

    September 27, 2007
  9. I didn't mention it because you did ask not to be told…

    September 27, 2007
  10. Thanks, Em. Nothin' like being the last to know, though.

    September 27, 2007
  11. kim #

    As far as I know, they still use beef flavoring in their fries. I've never heard them deny it, or change the recipe. If you go to their website, you can look up the ingredients in all their menu items. Wendy's and BK have vegan fries, last time I researched.

    September 28, 2007
  12. Canaduck #

    Sorry, Mary, but they definitely do still use beef flavoring. They got in trouble for it and stopped with using it in India, I think, but they still use it in Canada and the States, at least.

    October 1, 2007

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