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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Building Vegan Culture(s) Globally

The task of building vegetarian culture has been undertaken throughout the millennia by religious and spiritual communities, vegetarians with a worldview, and the vegetarian diet is intertwined in their understanding with all their other beliefs.

Building sustainable and non-idiosyncratic vegan culture(s) and subcultures globally is a challenge very few vegans seem to be willing to take upon themselves in a committed and systematic way.

These resources offer some background.



In addition to joining them, thoughts in this forum could help us think out the task of building vegetarian and vegetarian culture and its sustaining resources (including our own self-history and community histories).

Again, throughout the millennia, this task has been undertaken vegetarians with a worldview which may be different from our own outlook or view of living, and vegetarian diet for them was for them, as it is for most of us, part of our lives. In that context, like it was for them, it is intertwined in their or our understanding and with all their or our other beliefs.

As before - in the past, vegetarians today, both religious and secular, continue intertwine beliefs, both dietary and nondietary.

Issues in culture building arise constantly whenever there is talk about "increasing the number of vegetarians".

But modern social science understandings of culturebuilding OUGHT to give us profound insights into the importance of economics, material infrastructure, celebration, and intergenerational communication.

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Maynard S. Clark | 617-615-9672 (GoogleVoice) | Skype: MaynardClark

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Monday, December 06, 2010

Doing without

Last night, on the Simpsons, Lisa Simpson (not in her dreams, where she had become an entirely different character, some of it very bad and, from a vegetarian's perspective, one of those horrid nightmares of self-doubt about being a good person) bemoaned the family's Christmas Tree.

Her resolution of the "Fir is Murder" issue was clever...

Cartoon of the Week

43 Island "Nation-States" feel like Deserted Islands

At Climate Summit, They're Feeling Like Deserted Islands

from the Los Angeles Times (Registration Required)

Cancun, Mexico -- In the scrum of 9,000 negotiators gathered in Cancun to wrangle over a global climate treaty Ronny Jumeau has no patience for diplomatic niceties.

"I won't shut up," said the pugnacious chief of the three-member delegation from Seychelles, an Indian Ocean archipelago. ... Jumeau is a member of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), a negotiating bloc of 43 nations already suffering the ill effects of climate change: longer droughts, bigger floods, stronger hurricanes and rising seas. The countries circle the globe from the Pacific to the Caribbean to the Indian Ocean, and they are furious that the industrial nations--the big emitters of greenhouse gases--are not moving fast enough to ensure their survival.

As the 12-day summit moves into high gear this week, small island nations may be the noisiest critics, but they are hardly alone in their frustration that a legally binding agreement to reduce planet-heating pollutants has no chance to be concluded here.

Maynard | GoogleChat: Maynard.Clark | Google Profile

Maynard S. Clark | 617-615-9672 (GoogleVoice) | Skype: MaynardClark

Blog Links | HSPH Bioethics | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | MyBlogLog

Chris Voight, Washington State Potato Commission, eats 20 plain potatoes each day for 60 days

Chris Voight works for the Washington State Potato Commission.

To prove to people that the potato is a nutritious food and not just an empty carb, he has eaten 20 potatoes a day, and little else, for 60 days.

He has produced some funny videos which he has posted along with his blood work on his website:

"Hi, I'm Chris Voigt, and I'm eating 20 Potatoes a day, for 60 days straight.

I'm the Executive Director of the Washington State Potato Commission. In an effort to remind the public about the nutritional value of potatoes, I am going on a diet consisting of ONLY POTATOES, nothing else. No toppings, no chili, no sour cream, no cheese, no gravy, just potatoes and maybe some seasonings or herbs and a little oil for some of the cooking.

I will be on this "potato only" diet for 60 days straight, starting October 1st and ending November 29th. I want to show the world that the potato is so healthy, that you could live off them alone for an extended period of time, without any negative impact to your health. And who knows, maybe it will make me healthier by lowering my blood pressure and cholesterol?

As part of this 60 day diet, I will be posting online videos, comments, and blogs about how the diet is going, interesting trivia about the potato, and some zany stuff too! You can follow the diet and let me know what you think here!

Each Monday I'll announce a contest for the week where you could win some cool potato stuff! I look forward to hearing what you think about my 20 potatoes a day! Remember to tell your friends and come back often!

Chris Voigt
Washington State Potato Commission

Home Diet Facts Blog Videos Contact Us Diet Facts A person my height and weight needs to consume 2200 calories a day just to maintain my weight. An average potato (5.3 oz) contains 110 calories. I'll need to eat 20 potatoes a day to maintatin my weight. Below is an example of the nutrients I'll be getting from my 20 potatoes a day... Vitamin C
Vitamin B6
Dietary Fiber
Pantothenic Acid
Vitamin K
Vitamin E
Vitamin A 942%

What it means to "defend animal rights"

We need to
(a) BELIEVE in the social construct of rights

(b) BE ABLE to clearly conceptualize and express the social construct of rights and the rightful inclusion of nonhumans within the scope of that construct's applicability
(c) BE ABLE AND WILLING to consistently live out the practical implications of that social construct (e.g. veganism)

(d) BE ABLE AND WILLING to tease out the long-term implications for each society of the practical implications of that social construct (e.g. abolition of all animal agriculture and exploitative social USES of animals), in ways that are attractive to the broad reach of each society and highly desirable (more desirable than any status quo exploiting animals or any ACTUAL new way of exploiting animals or the POSSIBILITY of any (some) new way appearing in the future that could be used to justify the exploitation of nonhumans.

I'd say that's a very tall order. I'd also say that we are only beginning to achieve the aggregated social maturity as a vegan movement to deal with that whole-cloth, in the aggregate, even though a number of really great books (Lee Hall's included) have appeared to help us individually work through these issues and implications in our individual lives.

Dubai event encourages a vegetarian lifestyle

Fruitarian, vegan, or raw foodie? If you have wondered what the difference is, then the Meveg Congress, opening today, might be the thing for you.

The two-day event at the Dubai World Trade Centre brings together 16 proponents of healthy living from as far as Singapore, Russia and the United States.

The effort seeks to convince audiences that ditching meat, even if only for a few days each week, can help people and the planet to become healthier.

That message is particularly relevant in the UAE, which has very high levels of diabetes and obesity, as well as a deep environmental footprint in the world.

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, the UAE has the highest per-capita footprint at 10.68 hectares. This indicates what portion of the planet's natural resources people living here need to sustain their lifestyles.
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