It's remarkable that there are people in the world fighting for the right to violate animals, but many chefs and foodies alike choose taste buds over compassion. Just because we can do something doesn't mean we should. Listen to this brief radio editorial I recorded for National Public Radio about the California bans on foie gras and shark fin soup and how some people are fighting to overturn them.more
I've been vegan for 15 years, and I've been eating meat the entire time. I've also been drinking milk and baking with butter.
Not mock meat. Not fake butter. Not imitation milk.
I'm very proud to be a contributor to my National Public Radio station, KQED. My latest editorial is called Meat, Milk, and Butter for Vegans. Take a 2-minute listen. And please share far and wide!more
I'm so proud to have been contributing to KQED Radio for 11 years. My very first editorial was about having a turkey-free Thanksgiving, reminding listeners that 45 million turkeys are killed just for this one day. Eleven years later the same time of year, I return again to having a turkey-free Thanksgiving, reminding listeners that we don't have to choose between honoring tradition and adhering to our valuesmore
On the basis of compassion and good sense, the California State Legislature made it illegal to sell foie gras as of July 2012. The production of foie gras necessarily involves the force-feeding of ducks and geese, resulting in a diseased and painfully enlarged liver, for which the animals are eventually killed.
All for a cracker spread.
In 2011, the California State Legislature made it illegal to sell shark fins. The ban became effective as of July 1, 2013. To keep restaurants in supply, sharks -- as many as 70 million a year -- are caught, have their fins sliced off and are thrown back into the ocean to die a slow death, gravely affecting not only those individuals but the larger ecosystem and the population of dozens of shark species.
All for a soup ingredient.
Since the foie gras ban went into effect, most restaurants have taken it off their menus, but some have been either overtly selling it or covertly offering it to knowing customers as a "secret" menu item. Some restaurant owners are delighting in the creative ways they're exploiting a loophole in...more
Last month, an employee at a Fresno slaughterhouse shot four co-workers before attempting to take his own life. Many claimed to be puzzled by this outburst, and the president of the slaughterhouse declared the incident to be a "random act."
But was it? There's no way to prove concretely that slaughterhouse work caused this gruesome assault, but I think it's worth examining whether this man's decision to kill humans in a setting where thousands of animals are killed daily was more than coincidental.
As a society, we maintain a paradoxical relationship with the animal world. On the one hand, we agree that killing a dog or a cat is an act of violence, but we rationalize and romanticize the annual slaughter of 10 billion birds, pigs and cows because it is socially acceptable.
But socially sanctioned violence is still violence, and the violence inherent in killing animals -- for whatever purpose -- has undeniable psychological consequences for those who participate. There is much research to be done in this field, but the theory is not new. The "Sinclair Hypothesis,...more
With access to healthful fruits and vegetables lacking in many areas of Oakland, the city is modifying its zoning regulations to make it easier for people to grow and sell edible plants.
As an urban gardener in Oakland, I support these changes 110 percent. The problem is that some are also pushing the city to allow for animal farming and slaughter, and some people have already begun killing animals illegally.
As the national movement towards urban agriculture gains traction, many city administrators find themselves in favor of backyard plant-based agriculture but against its animal-based counterpart because of concerns about public health, animal welfare and the financial burden it places on already overtaxed city budgets.
To keep costs down, many people keep animals in unsanitary conditions and provide minimal to no veterinary care, which increases suffering, odors, predators and disease -- making it an issue not only of animal welfare but also of public nuisance and public health.
Oakland's underfunded shelter, animal control officers, shelter staff and...more