My vegan story!

This is my silly intro post. I hate writing about myself but I always love reading about how people came to animal rights and veganism. So here’s my story…

I just celebrated a silly milestone of a birthday which made me think about life and about veganism. I was brought to this amazing movement through a strong love for animals and the environment. I never really fully enjoyed eating animal “products” as a child and mostly kept to eating super processed meats like hot dogs, hamburgers, and chicken nuggets. I drank cow’s milk once in awhile but only when it was super cold. I absolutely loved cheese. I preferred food that didn’t really resemble an animal. Looking back I can understand why I didn’t want to eat animals. I always had this relationship with animals. I respected them and always felt that human’s relationship with them was strange but I didn’t really know why or what could be done about it.

I was always crusading for animals and the environment. When I was 8 years old I wrote a letter to Carefree gum denouncing them for testing their sugar alternative, aspartame, on animals. I told them it was mean and I would not be buying their gum anymore. It was my first lesson in corporate cluelessness and greed…they sent me coupons for free gum. I remember opening the letter and reading their lame attempt at a response about how animal testing keeps people safe and then being completely confused as to why they would send me coupons. I stopped trusting giant corporations that day and I also threw the coupons away.

It wasn’t until college that I heard the term vegetarian. It just seemed to fit into my own beliefs about animals and I instantly became one. I started researching factory farms, veal crates, animal testing, etc and found that I was completely disgusted with all of it. I couldn’t support it any longer. I bought veggie burgers and veggie cookbooks. I taught myself how to cook awesome vegetarian food and never felt like I was missing out.

It wasn’t until I transferred to SUNY Oswego that I met a vegan. I had never heard the term before and never really connected that dairy and eggs were a part of the system I abhorred. He lent me Sarah Kramer’s How it All Vegan cookbook and I fell in love! I loved the writing, the style and the recipes. He answered some questions I had, but I mostly took it upon myself to research what was cruel about the dairy and egg industries. I didn’t like anything I saw or read. I felt like a hypocrite for saying I loved animals but continuing to take part in their misery. I couldn’t believe the way that humans manipulate animals natural biology for the sake of a “product”. I had no idea that cows only made milk after being “impregnated” (raped) or that egg laying hens were kept in extremely tight cages while overhead lights manipulated the frequency of how often they laid an egg. It sickened me to think that they had to go through that over and over until their bodies were literally “spent”. I knew I couldn’t take part in it anymore. I remember the horrible feeling of knowing about the atrocities and being scared as to what I needed to do.

It was very scary for me to take that step into veganism for some reason. I totally admit it. I stopped consuming dairy and eggs at home but would still eat it when out. I was too scared to just do it because it was so different than what society had told me to do. This went on for a couple of weeks until I realized I was getting sick a lot and was advised by my doctor to stop eating dairy because I was lactose intolerant. It was the push I needed and I became vegan that day. I bought some vegan cookbooks and started reading books about animal rights. My fears were soon alleviated because I realized that being vegan was pretty easy and tasty! Some things were challenging like eating out in a rural area but there were some options if you looked hard enough. I cooked a lot and learned about vegan baking. I baked all the time and ate so many delicious things. I’ve progressed a lot throughout my almost ten years as a vegan, both in my cooking/baking/eating and in my views of animal rights.

I’m hoping to put myself out there a little more by writing blog posts about cooking and baking, but I am also interested in activist repression and how veganism connects to other social movements. I’m sure these topics, as well as others will make it into my writings. I’m looking forward to sharing what I know with all of you.

For the animals,

<3 Sarah

Northeast Animal Liberation Festival UPDATED FLYER & more

flyer for Northeast Animal Liberation Festival

5 days til the Northeast Animal Liberation Festival. If you aren’t aware of the updates to the facebook event page, keep reading! Bold Native screening will follow a panel discussion “Animal Liberation in a Culture of Violence and Exploitation,” featuring tireless activists Peter Young, Jenny Brown and Camille Hankins. Truth bombs will be dropped to say the least…

Vegan potluck dishes are strongly encouraged, but additional BBQ food will be available—only requirement is that contributions are 100% vegan.

Copied from facebook event:

SCHEDULE

6p vegan BBQ potluck

7p “Animal Liberation in a Culture of Violence and Exploitation” discussion panel featuring former Animal Liberation Front activist Peter Young, Jenny Brown of Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, and Camille Hankins of Win Animal Rights.

8p screening of BOLD NATIVE

930p Q&A with Peter Young

More about our PANELISTS

Peter Young

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEuBaGc1M-Y

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Daniel_Young

Camille Hankins

http://www.abolitionist-online.com/interview-issue05_war.win.animal.rights-camille.hankins.shtml

Jenny Brown

http://www.chronogram.com/issue/2008/9/View+From+the+Top/Local-Luminary

BOLD NATIVE

Bold Native is a fiction feature film. Charlie Cranehill, an animal liberator wanted by the United States government for domestic terrorism, emerges from the underground to coordinate a nationwide action as his estranged CEO father tries to find him before the FBI does. The film simultaneously follows a young woman who works for an animal welfare organization fighting within the system to establish more humane treatment of farmed animals. From abolitionists to welfarists, Bold Native takes on the issue of modern animal use and exploitation from several angles within the context of a road movie adventure story.

FEATURED TABLES

- Adirondack Animal Rights

- Albany Vegetarian Network

- Collar City Infoshop

- Motive Company

- Out of the Pits

- Warcry Publishing

- Win Animal Rights

- Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary

- X’s to O’s Vegan Bakery

***all potluck dishes must be 100% vegan (no meat, fish, dairy, eggs, honey—if you have a question about this don’t be shy!)

$10 suggested donation/ $5 student/low income

It should be mentioned that the timing of this event coincides with the Saturday evening showtime of Ringling Brothers’ Circus. The animals imprisoned by Ringling Brothers need our voices, and our immediate action. Please note each circus showtime & plan demonstrations accordingly, but we hope you will consider skipping the latest Saturday protest & joining us for this unique and important evening.

See you Saturday!

Download NEW flyer, print & distribute EVERYWHERE!

 RSVP via facebook

Sanctuary for Independent Media

Upcoming Book Club Meeting

Two weeks from today is the next meeting of the Capital Region Animal Rights Book Club.  We’ll be discussing Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won’t Eat Meat by Howard Lyman.

Sunday, April 10th
2:00PM – 4:00PM
Troy, NY
This event is being held at someone’s residence so those who are attending will be given the address of the location. Please RSVP on Facebook

If you wish to bring any snacks or goodies to the book discussion, they must be 100%
vegan.

 

From the Mad Cowboy website:

Howard F. Lyman has brought the issue of the dangers of eating beef to light like never before. A former cattle rancher-turned-vegetarian and food safety activist, in 1996, Lyman revealed, to a national television audience, how the cattle industry potentially exposed Americans to Mad Cow Disease by feeding cows the remains of live animals – including other cows. As a result of his remarks, Lyman was named a co-defendant with Oprah Winfrey in the infamous “veggie libel” case brought by Texas ranchers in Amarillo.

In this shocking and powerful book, Lyman uncovers the dangerous and potentially deadly practices of the cattle and dairy industry. MAD COWBOY is a passionate manifesto for change from an industry insider whose firsthand experiences will alter the way you think about your food, and the people who produce it, forever. “Sure, I used to enjoy my steaks as much as the next guy,” writes Lyman. “But if you knew what I know about what goes into them and what they can do to you, you’d probably be a vegetarian like me.”

A fourth generation dairy farmer and cattle rancher, Lymanbecame enamored of the “bold new age of chemically enhanced agriculture” as a student in agricultural college. Spurning the organic farming methods of his father and grandfather, he became a convert to modern chemical farming techniques: he fed his cows with hormones and antibiotics, and blanketed his farm with pesticides and herbicides. With his mind relentlessly focused on profits, he refused to acknowledge the harmful effects that this steady stream of chemicals might pose for the environment and for consumers who would later ingest these chemicals as meat. Admitting that at the time he “never met a chemical he didn’t like, ” Lyman says that he, like other dairy and cattle farmers, poisoned his animals and polluted his farms.

FOR EXAMPLE:

Cattle ranchers turned cows into cannibals. Until August 1997, cattle were routinely fed the remains of other cows. The Department of Agriculture and the FDA banned the practice, fearing the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, better known as Mad Cow Disease. But it remains legal to feed cows “rendered” — dead and ground up — parts of certain animals, including the blood of other cows, despite the fact that this practice may allow deadly illnesses to enter the food chain. In 1995, five million tons of processed slaughterhouse leftovers were sold for animal feed.

In an effort to prevent disease, Lyman, like other ranchers, fed his cows antibiotics even before they became ill. Soon, Lyman was on an “antibiotic treadmill” constantly changing drugs as the cows became resistant to them, and even using antibiotics after they were banned because of the dangers they posed to human health. Every day, Lyman sprayed his feedlot with insecticides which would then fall into the cattle’s food and water — and eventually become part of someone’s dinner. Ranchers relentlessly used growth hormones, particularly DES, which they stockpiled when it was banned.

To increase their profits, ranchers also routinely fed growth hormones to cattle within two weeks of their slaughter, despite a government ban on the practice. Dairy ranchers continue to use recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) to enhance milk production, despite the fact that this chemical — which has been implicated in causing cancer and other diseases — shows up in milk.

In 1989, the discovery of a rare spinal tumor led Lyman to examine his life. In MAD COWBOY, he tells the moving story of his own personal transformation, and how he became a crusader for organic farming and more conscious eating habits. Lyman describes the devastating effects that modern feed lot operations are having – and will continue to have – on the environment, and also outlines the profound health benefits that switching to a vegetarian diet offers, including reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. After adopting a vegetarian diet, Lyman himself lost 130 pounds and lowered his cholesterol by more than 150 points.

“…I felt better knowing that there was one answer to many of the different ills afflicting both ourselves and our environment. Everything revolved around the fork.” (MAD COWBOY, p. 81)

MAD COWBOY is an honestly written, urgent wake-up call to America, a heartfelt plea for all consumers to take a closer look at the food they eat, and how it is grown.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Howard F. Lyman is a fourth-generation family farmer from Montana. After 20 years of operating a feed lot, he sold his ranch and started working for farmers in financial trouble. He was a lobbyist in Washington, and ran for Congress in 1982.

He is the former Director of the “Beyond Beef Campaign” & theHumane Society of the United States‘ “Eating With Conscience” Campaign; past President of both the International Vegetarian Union, and EarthSave International; and is currently President ofVoice for a Viable Future.

Howard travels over 100,000 miles every year as a speaker and lecturer. A Feature Documentary on his life is now in post-production. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife Willow Jeane, and his cat, Ceasar.

Glen Merzer, playwright, screenwriter, and vegetarian, lives in Santa Monica, California.


Road Trip and Prisoner Support

A few of us are heading out to Hartford, CT on Wednesday for an exciting event.  Will Potter of www.GreenIsTheNewRed.com and Justin Goodman, 2007

recipient of PETA’s Nanci Alexander Award for activist of the year, will be speaking at the University of Connecticut School of Law.  We highly suggest you attend if you’re able to make it.  From Green is the New Red:

“Approving Animal Abuse & Punishing Protest”

Will Potter and Justin Goodman will discuss the scope of animal experimentation in the United States, the laws that govern it, and how federal terrorism laws are being created and used against the nonviolent activists who are trying to end it.

Date: March 30, 2011
Time: 5:00 PM
Place: Blumberg Hall, University of Connecticut School of Law
65 Elizabeth Street
Hartford, CT 06105-2290

Vegan food from China Pan Restaurant will be provided courtesy of the sponsoring student groups.

Please invite your friends on the Facebook event page.

Closely related to this topic, we’ve added some new links to the website that we’d like you to check out including:

Support Daniel McGowan

Support Walter Bond

Support Marie Mason

Support Steve Murphy

These men and women have sacrificed their freedom to stand up to the destruction our government and corporations are inflicting on animals and our planet.  None of them have injured another human, yet they are often given lengthy prison sentences in comparison with other crimes. (Marie Mason is serving 22 years for charges relating to damaging an office connected to GMO research and destroying a piece of logging equipment.)  Marie’s support site makes a great point when they say that supporting her does not mean agreeing with the actions that she took — but it does mean opposing the fear-mongering tactics of the federal government and the outrageous sentences they have imposed.  How far is this repression going to go?  It’s incredibly scary to think about.

Photo credit: BITE BACK Magazine http://www.directaction.info

For a complete list of current prisoners, please visit BITE BACK Magazine.  Take a moment today to write a quite letter of support to one or all of them.  Thank you!