portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary portland metro

health

a restraunt review

I heard conflicting reports about Calendula. The only organic vegan restruant in town. I decided to see for myself.
I went with some friends today and ate brunch. I am glad that theres a vegan fine dining establishment. I'm glad that Craig Rosebraugh pays his dishwashers better than the paradox. That he gives the staff benefits. I have traveled this country a few times. Every time I go to a new city I search out thier vegan restraunts. I'm not alone. Practicly every vegan I know that lives on more than a food not bombs income does this. Hell its one of the first things we talk about when we meet. I'm glad that the calendula has taken up the financially risky proposition of bieng an organic reastruant. To my knowledge there is NO other reastruant in town that has a higher comitment to the quality of thier ingredients. Just as thier is NO other VEGAN restruant in town. That Craig Rosebraugh has risked his ass financially to revitalize a historic building in this neighborhood should be commended. I have recently moved from a below poverty income to a down right middle class career as a carpenter. I work hard. I like to go out. I get tired of going to a greasy punk dive to get some inconsistant food. I want a place I'd feel proud to take my family to. I'm glad there's a restraunt i can take my friends to that says this is what a vegan can do. If Craig can do it. So can I.
Now the walnut burger I had was a tasty treat. It seamed almost like a bulgar burger mix but it was home made and the consistancy wasn't crumbly at all. I wonder how they do it. Thier chef used to work at millenium cafe, a famous ( to vegans at least) bay erea restraunt that serves to an up scale croud. That he was willing to move here and cook food I can afford tickles me pink. My sandwich came with sweet potato french fries that seemed a bit soft but had a flavor worth traveling for. My friend had some kind of tempe scramle that was so good I think I'll get it next time instead. I don't remember what victory had but her son raven wasnt digin it. She liked it though. Victory had a (vegan!) milk shake that was better than I could make at home. It was so yummy that I got one too. Then I got a pizele wich is like a soft waffle cone filled with dark chocolate mouse and topped with organic strawberry sauce yummyn'ece and coco sprincle. The mint chocolate milkshake musta had pepermint oil in it cause I'm still feelin it now, like 4 hours later. I've taken my medicine, and I like it.

Vegan 24.Jan.2004 20:11

kawp

Veganism is a good, healthy diet, but don't confuse it with religion or spirituality. You won't become nicer, holier, purer, or enlightened by virtue of eating or not eating animal products.

VEGAN/organic food prices high 24.Jan.2004 20:41

because of fast food monopoly

There are reasons that vegan and organic food is high priced. The results of the GE/meat industry complex flooding the market with their massive monoculture GE/meat/dairy garbage make the price of VEGAN/organic food higher. This is what led to Korean farmer K.H. Lee sacrificing his life on the fence at the Cancun WTO protest. The small time organic rice farmers in Korea were driven out of business by large scale GE monoculture agribusiness rice that floods the market with cheap rice, driving small-time organic farmers out of business..

The VEGAN/organic food store/restaurant are more expensive than McDonalds/Burger king for a similar reason. The chain fast food places have access to large amounts of cheap agribusiness fed/rain-forest slashed beef and can sell their cheeseslimeburgers at low prices. Look into the low income neighborhoods and note the prevalence of artery cloggin heart-stoppin fast food. The man from Brooklyn or Bronx who sued the 4 fast food places in his neighborhood had good reason for this lawsuit. It is difficult for low income people to get access to healthy vegan organic food because the agribusiness GE/meat industry is constantly flooding the market with cheap GE schwag food. People in low income neighborhoods suffer with diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, etc because of the fast food industry economic tyranny over food availability..

This is not the fault of the VEGAN/organic food salespeople, they are only struggling to keep their doors open and provide quality food to people. If the prices were any lower, they could not maintain their business. Most VEGAN/organic store owners would prefer to have lower prices to attract a greater customer base. Having a low price in the beginning is not feasable since there is no guaranteed VEGAN/organic market yet since media propaganda still encourages GE/meat consumption..

Of course there are the geovernment tax subsidies given 2 non-organic agribusiness;

(from website below)

"At first glance, you might expect organic food to cost less to produce than foods with added extras. However, it's a lot more complex than that. The main reason that intensively farmed foods are cheaper to buy in the shops is that you are paying for them in your taxes. Agro-chemical agriculture is heavily subsidised by the taxpayer through the government, whereas organic farming receives no subsidies at all. This ludicrous situation dates back to the aftermath of World War II. The governments of the day needed to ensure that the severe food shortages of the war never happened again. Starvation and famine in Europe urgently needed to be protected against, and the new chemical technologies of the 1950's seemed like a gift. One of the first things that the united European governments did was to encourage an abundance of foods by subsidising the use of chemicals in farming."


Uphill Battle for Small Business 24.Jan.2004 21:03

North Portlander

Another thread recently explained beautifully why WalMart prices are so unrealistically low; the same explanation applies to McDonalds and other mega-fast food chains. When you're that huge you can bring the market to its knees and suppliers must sell to you at a ridiculously low price in order to remain in business and maintain a contract with you.

Small independent restaurants and co-ops are not like that and the people they buy from sell at a self-sustaining rate, rather than a cut rate.

When Vegan restaurants are thicker on the ground and begin to compete we may see more specials or slightly lower prices, but at the present time there aren't enough of them that they present a threat to each other.

Portland has a reputation for its unique and independent restaurants, just as it does for its unique bookstores. The unfortunate thing is, that in order to remain independent and maintain a stable presence, these businesses seem to have to purchase their property, rather than lease or rent it which can increase their overhead. When property is rented or leased, the landlord can always be tempted away by a corporation-owned chain with pockets full of cash -- a chain used to spending (in the past) much more elsewhere than the independents here have paid in the past or can afford to pay.

We've got a unique, small curved brick building in our neighborhood on the corner of N. Greeley and Killingsworth. It's where the trolley tracks used to turn the corner; that's why it was built that way. Until recently, it housed the Madrona Hill Tavern and Restaurant and - at one time - a flower shop. There's no real parking there and neither ever did much business. A developer has gutted the building and is trying to rent the space but it appears that they must be asking too high a price because I haven't seen any indication that tenants are taking notice. They may think they've got a gold mine because it's down the street from the Adidas campus. But Adidas is so self-contained it has its own gym, espresso carts, and cafeteria. Anyone know about this project? The other three corners are taken by a 7-11, another tavern, and an auto detailer who sells cigarettes in his parking lot. Two blocks north on Greeley is the Madrona Hill Bakery which is now open only on Fridays and Saturdays. Several blocks east on Killingsworth is the Beaterville Cafe and Di Prima Dolce, which both do a roaring good business. We could use some neighborhood-friendly local shopowners in this Greeley/Killingsworth spot!

um, where? 25.Jan.2004 03:27

clueless

i guess i just must not be hip to the word on the street or something like that but i dont know where this is. future reviewers, authors, and reporters, please consider putting info such as address and/or contact info in your pieces. merci!

Re: paradox 25.Jan.2004 03:35

Curious

I am curious as to this comment in by the original author:
I'm glad that Craig Rosebraugh pays his dishwashers better than the paradox.

Just wondering, what is up with this comment? It seems to be specifically singling out the Paradox. Is this because it has vegan items on the menu and underpays its dishwashers? Is there some bigger reason, like the Paradox is "evil". I guess I was just expecting something more like "pays his dishwashers better than Denny's", etc. But maybe this kinda statement is obvious.

So, what gives?


I apologize 25.Jan.2004 10:38

mb

I unfairly singled out the paradox because most people I've talked to make the comparison first. I recognize that this comparison wasn't brought up in this thread untill I made it. For this I apologize. I believe that people often make this comparison because they don't understand that calendula has a different business model, and don't feel that thier prices are justified in this light. What I was trying to get across is that in comparison to other restruants in portland that havn't taken the risk of bieng all vegan, all organic, and fair wage- yet do serve some vegitarian food- Calendula is a value added expierence, and should be treated as such.

The cross streets are like 33rd and Hawthorne in se Portland. You can't miss it.

MORE EXCITING RESTRAUNT REVIEWS COMING SOON!

The dishwashers are still wage slaves, and Rosenbaugh is now a capitlalist. 25.Jan.2004 11:24

eric blair

That is, of course, unless every worker at Rosenbaugh's cafe owns an equal share of the restaurant, just like Craig.

Congratulations Craig! You are now an exploiter of the working class!

Well, how would that work, eric? Would every worker have 25.Jan.2004 11:57

?

had to put up a proportional share of the money to renovate the building, put their names on the loans, etc.? The risk would have to be shared equally too.

This is a commercial 25.Jan.2004 12:08

Ronald McRosebraugh

Yes Craig is a capitolist. This is not a cooperative or a collective. This is a traditional capitolist business. Does this mean that capitolist pals of indymedia staff get free advertising for their businesses? That's a retorical question.

Congradulations Craig. Congradulations for having so much money. You are an outstanding example for all of us who don't.

I wonder if it would be OK with him if his employees unionised. I bet it would hurt his feelings. After all he pays the lowlyest of his workers better than they would be payed that the paradox.

Don't worry--I'll bet most of those 25.Jan.2004 13:36

well

who are so critical aren't vegan and wouldn't have been customers anyway. They don't see that it actually is very revolutionary to open an all vegan restaurant.

And "kawp," I would disagree with you that veganism is not "more spiritual" (whatever that means). Take a look at how animals suffer for our food ( http://www.veganoutreach.com "how animals are made into food" section). It's anti-spiritual, anti-life, anti-compassion to eat their flesh. For food animals, their lives are but an inconvenient stage on their way to our dinner table. (Take a look at PETA's "Meat your Meat" too--download for free at their site). Most people who are in denial about how animals suffer for us refuse to actually look at what's happening to them.

No justification for exploitation 25.Jan.2004 13:36

eric blair

Of course, within our current society, Craig could have gotten together all of his current wage slaves, broken the costs down equally, and they all could have taken out equal loans to start the business.

But Craig obviously chose not to pursue this option.

Because of his use of wage slavery, Craig Rosenbraugh is a capitalist, and therefore he is also a hypocrite.

If Calendula is still operating when the revolution comes (which is highly doubtful, since it probably won't happen in my lifetime), then Calendula's future owners would be treated no differently than any other exploiter who employs wage slaves. Their business would be expropriated, to be held in common by the workers - since the profits of the restaurant, including the money with which Craig Rosenbraugh used to finance his business, were all obtained through the exploitation of others.

Treat everyone as you wish to be treated.

If you exploit other, then expect to be exploited yourself.

Eric: A lot of people (including me), don't want a share 25.Jan.2004 13:42

me

in a restaurant. I go to school. I want a job in which I can go to it, then go home and study, and not worry about marketing etc. for "my" business. Why do you assume that everyone wants a piece of that owner pie? Some don't want the responsibility at a certain point in their lives, can't commit to it for whatever reason, are only in town long enough to get a 4 year degree or whatever, then are moving on.

bigger fish to fry 25.Jan.2004 15:06

stalin

First of all what revolution would expropriate an independent business? A Stalinist one? Aren't there bigger fish to fry?

Why is so much energy going into attacking a locally owned independent business that is striving to be reponsible t the environment/animals?

Yes i can see the inherent hyprocrisy in a 'revolutionary' being a boss and owner of a business but lets get a bi of perspective here.

Calendula is not worker-owned or collectively ran but CO OPS and collectives are not neccesarily the community minded 'businesses' that they profess to be. They are often very insular and alienating. I am a proud member of People's CO OP and freuent REd and Black amongst other worker owned businesses but lets not forget they are still businesses and are still deeply inbedded within the economic system.

What about somewhere like Reading Frenzy that provides a great communtiy serive in providing hard to find independently published literature and helps promote DIY publications (not to mention to great anarchist section). Should we call the owner ou for being a capitalist pig because she is a 'boss' and an 'owner'.

Then there are real capitalists like Stumptown Coffee and the oputrageous profits that they pull in. Not to mention not all their coffee is fair trade or organic. They definately have their finger in the capitalist pie.

Calendula is going to attract Middle Class diners and show them that you can live well and not exploit the environment/anmals and support locally owned businesses at the same time. Sure it is not revolutionary and sure it seems weird for someone like Rosenbraugh to be behind this. But who has taken the time to get his side of the story?

Examine your own participation in the system and your own class background before taking on his. Then take some time to find out what he is trying to do.

It takes some bollocks to go through what he did and now put himself within the spotlight withn such a way. I am not saying he should not be critisized, I'm just saying we need to put things in context a bit here.

You assume to much 25.Jan.2004 15:09

mb

You assume that the workers of this restraunt would not either individually or collectivly be listened to or treated with respect by Craig. You assume that they or everyone would want to put themself in a crippling state of debt to open an organic vegan restruant. You assume that any one of them wants more than a decent job- one they can quit if they want. Does everyone that has a home want to buy one? NO! So, you think he doesn't know he employs a bunch of wobs? Come on. If they do organize- so what. Fair wage? Already done. Benifits? Already done. To improve the enviromental standards of thier working condition? How's about that compost program? To force him to work as they work? Well Eric I gather you havn't even been there cause he's busy slaving away downstairs as a baker. ASSHOLE! This isn't about anything more than your desire to financially cripple Craig because you fear what he could do if he really did have money. I can't see how that would help the workers of calendula. But, I don't really think you give a damn about them anyway. DO YOU? Or you wouldn't be siding with the portland pd, the FBI, and the OLCC against him. Now would you?

Enough with Rosenface already 25.Jan.2004 15:15

Shameless Promotion

I didn't say anything when his book release, accompanied by a big "glossy" photo of the thing was featured on this site. Although it walked the fine line of feature/advertisement, at least there was some worthwhile content to discuss. But this just crosses the line. This is a for-profit, capitalist business. And just like a restaurant review for any other for-profit capitalist business, it doesn't belong on this site. The quasi-celebrity status of this quasi-radical doesn't change that fact.
If you want to tell your friends about it, fine. But, this site was not created so that radicals-turned-businessmen can make a bigger profit, and I really don't appreciate this site being used to post ads.

ad? 25.Jan.2004 15:47

Bromide

I do not see this as an ad myself. Now if it was posted by Mr. Rosebraugh as a restaurant promotion, then it would be an ad. However, someone who went to the restaurant and ordered food, posted their review of the place. Since it is an all (the only?) organic vegan restaurant, that does seem within the scope of the site.

Just my 2 cents

did it ever occur to you... 25.Jan.2004 17:49

Nestor Makhno

that Craig may not have been totally at liberty to choose his business model before he opened the place up? Maybe his creditors wouldn't have allowed him to adopt a totally collective business model. Maybe the excellent wages and benefits he provides are to compensate for this fact. I say Craig has enough street cred to have earned the benefit of the doubt. Don't be so fast to hurl accusations at someone who has a proven track record as a revolutionary, and has already paid a big price for his actions.

a few simple facts 25.Jan.2004 20:08

eric blair

There are two classes within our economic system - let's refer to them as the wage slaves and the capitalists.

I am a wage slave. That is my role in the economic system. I get paid for my time. My capitalist employers exploit me.

A capitalist is one who employs wage slaves. Unless a business was to be run without the help of even one wage slave, then that business is by nature a capitalist business. Whether corporate or independent, the use of wage slavery is the root cause of most of the horror that we humans inflict on one another.

One does not choose to be a slave. One does choose to be a slave owner.

And when someone who formerly campaigned for the abolition of slavery suddenly runs out and buys himself some slaves, becoming a slave owner - well, you've really got to wonder.

And as for my views on expropriation being "Stalinist", try reading a fucking book. During the Spanish revolution and civil war, the Stalinist forces in Spain sent military divisions off the front lines for the sole purpose of eliminating the spontaneous collectives that the peasants had been setting up throughout much of free Spain, especially in Aragon and Catalonia. So as you see, the views I espoused are actually very anti-"Stalinist".

Personally I like Craig's political writings, as much as I have read of them anyway.

I'm just pointing out a glaring and unforgivable hypocrisy that I can't help but see.

Eric...I said above that at this time in my life I don't 25.Jan.2004 20:49

me again

WANT to be a business owner. I don't want the risk, and don't have the time. I suppose that means I have to be a wage slave, but I would rather be that than a restaurant owner at this point in my life (unless of course I could do it without risk, without debt, minimal commitment, and I could easily sell my share when I leave Portland). I think you're making this argument way too simple.

stalinist 25.Jan.2004 21:01

stalin

actually i've read a book or two. even a few about the spanish anarchists and how they were sold out by the 'stalinists'.

the spanish anarchists did not always 'expropriate' small independently owned farms that did not want to participate in collectivization. this was the subject of much debate- as is potrayed beautifully in ken loach's film 'land and freedom'.

my point was that expropriation of a small independently run business would not be high on my list afer the revolution. it reeks of stalinism when a small revolutionary elite take it upon themselves to make decisions for everyone else- that's something you can read about in lots of books. with a name like Eric Blair you should know all about that. not everyone wants to collectivize nor should they have to.

I do, however agree that we could debate the nature of exploiting people's labor and workplace hierarchy.

He's so brave! 25.Jan.2004 21:20

He opened a restaurant... swoon...

Revolutionary to open a vegan restaurant?

We should admire him for taking such a risk? The risk of losing money in running a vegan restaurant?

Listen to yourself!

Yeah, actually, in this culture, it's a revolutionary 25.Jan.2004 21:50

**

thing to be a vegan, unfortunately. Are you? From what you say, I doubt it. People talk and talk about compassion, but rarely do they make the choice to actually change their diet to reflect that. Most people are in such denial about what happens to animals in animal farming, refuse to find out about it and face their choices, and just pass it off. But the animals do suffer horribly, regardless of if you admit it or even care. And it is even rarer still to open a business that purchases only sustainable, compassionate/vegan products only, when surely there is more money to be made by catering to the masses.

But keep going, people, this is free publicity for Calendula! Take it to the streets!

Good move 25.Jan.2004 22:56

I guess you're talking to me

Good move to accuse me of not caring about the suffering of animals just because I point out the ridiculousness of some worshipful attitudes around here. Not really. Kind of transparent and nonsensical, actually.

The guy opened a restaurant. People do it all the time. They all risk their money. Take a look at the other posts here. People actually commend him for "taking the risk," putting his precious money on the line.

I have no criticism of anyone opening a vegan restaurant. I see it for what it is. The guy is doing what every other restaurant owner does. He opens a restaurant, to serve the food he likes to serve, and make a living at it. He has a market, of which he's very aware too. Ooooohhhhhh.... revolutionary.

To see it for more than what it is is... whatever, go ahead. Maybe the guy needs people to worship his ideals. That guarantees customers whether his food is good or not.

I don't know about his food. I haven't read his books. My comments only apply to things I've read on indymedia. Worship who you want, but don't expect people not to call you on it once in awhile.

and "In this culture" 25.Jan.2004 23:03

where do you get that?

In this culture opening a vegan restaurant is revolutionary? Did anyone try to stop him? Did people make death threats? No?

You mean that in this culture, it was just as easy for him to get the proper licenses, property, workers, loans, etc. that any other person (with his assets) who wants to open a restaurant could do?

Whoa, this culture... it's really tough.

fyi 25.Jan.2004 23:13

Giuseppe Verdi

Sadly, he HAS gotten death threats quite recently. Fortunately, these usually come from cowards and it hasn't scared him yet out of doing as he sees fit.

mb 25.Jan.2004 23:22

Migratory Bird

"Or you wouldn't be siding with the portland pd, the FBI, and the OLCC against him. Now would you? "

That is a rediculous argument in Craig's defense. He oppened a capitalist joint. Folks would have liked to see some more revolutionary tactics. They voiced this. It stands.

He opened a vegan organic resteraunt, in one of the poorest cities in the country. Folks are happy. Others are worried (justifiably) that it will affect other resteraunts within the SE area. There are organic resteraunts, anarchist cafes, etc in the area. Folks wonder why he is attempting to open one their. There is suspision about him. Well, whatever books he wrote, he is new to the community, and is empacting a great deal of people by his capital (ist) descions.

But it is vegan organic and so people will still eat there. However others are wondering at what cost? Well, only time can tell. It sounds like a good meal, and the chef sounds intriguing.

I hope that it will inspire the red and black to go organic and change their menu.

Giuseppe 25.Jan.2004 23:54

With all due respect

He got death threats in response to things other than opening a vegan restaurant.

Opening a vegan restaurant is not revolutionary. The notion is insulting to people thoughout the world and history who have really risked their lives, and lost them, for revolution.

Define revolutionary however you want. Choosing to not eat 26.Jan.2004 00:19

hmm

animals is the single most compassionate thing we can do for them--and that is revolutionary, whether you call saving the lives of the majority of the world's inhabitants that or not. Their liberation is worthy of the name, in my book. Revolution doesn't always come with a gun--and the animals can't shoot anyway; this revolution has to happen differently. Making the choice to not serve them up at all is not being done by other restaurants--who may have vegan "alternatives," but still purchase the flesh of miserable creatures for people like you to eat.

Miserable creatures like me 26.Jan.2004 01:33

what do you know about me?

As little as I know about you. But I would never insult you so.

I don't have to.

Choosing not to eat animals 26.Jan.2004 01:48

is easy

Opening a vegan restaurant is as easy and difficult as opening any other kind of restaurant. It takes money and hard work, like any other restaurant.

Choosing not to eat animals is a pretty easy thing to do. It's not difficult unless you have some kind of real desire to eat animals. Is that what the problem is? Have you really made a big sacrifice? Why do you make it seem like people who don't eat meat are heroes, noble, revolutionary? It's EASY.

Where's the need for aknowledgement, and adulation come from? Why the obvious desire to stomp on others?

Hey, if all I have to do is stop eating meat to be a hero, then call me a hero right now. Wait a minute, don't do that. That's not why I stopped eating meat.

Sorry, read your message wrong 26.Jan.2004 01:57

about the miserable creature

But you make a lot of assumptions. Unfortunately that seems to happen a lot around here. When a person disagrees with one point, they get accused of all kinds of other behaviors, opinions, and characteristics, as if we are all walking stereotypes incapable of critical thought.

Whatever, it's late.

People like me really should get more sleep.

Well, one is a hero to the animals when they stop 26.Jan.2004 02:10

__

eating animal "products." And apparently it's not so easy that people will readily if ever do it--only a tiny fraction of the population are vegan.

wow all this from a review! 26.Jan.2004 02:35

friedrich engels

well, it seems that a simple review of a restaurant that has opened by who cares who has attracted attention about the question of being revolutionary or being a capitalist pig. Does anyone here know the "capitalist" personally. or his goals with this restaurant? as far as the renovations of that building, if it was him that did it and put in a restaurant, was he independantly wealthy enough to do this? answer- who cares. worry about yourselves. the cost of opening a restaurant that offers organic products, without any animal products as well is most likey very great. I have dined at this restaurant and the menu is quite imaginative and the whole experience was very nice. The server informed me that most everything on the menu that can be is made in-house and to order, not prepped and left in a refridgerator until ordered-this is time consuming and quite hard, and great effort is made to get all ingredients from local organics, if not regional organics. The pastry chef is the owner and he made some very nice cakes and pies~ the chocalate dream pie was great~ which is hard for a vegan diet. He also was bussing tables when I was at the restaurant. now I did not finish my lasagna and the container was a corn-resin instead of plastic, which i see as nice, the restaurant used paper on the tables that were made of recycled paper and then recycled( i asked the server) instead of using a different table cloth for every setting so as to minimalize the use of harsh detergents( they even use a "green" launderer, which consists of a special filtering system to captuer and recycle the detergents. the staff even wore cotton ties! now, if anyone here ever worked at a restaurant then you see the amount of waste that is produced, this seems like quite a way of doing business. so now if any of you "socialists" are for real, then get of of your asses and off of the computer and go do something to change the world, aside from a violence which don't change a thing. get a grip and stop complaining about others. ask yourself what do you buy? where do you shop? for EVERYTHING! do you drive? how much electricity do you consume? do you lead by example? do you try to help others know instead of yell and complain? people need to understand what is going on first before any change can be made. a couple of "liberals" just aruing only makes the status quo strong. spread the word, especially in poor areas. and most of all think don't criticize

Incredible... 26.Jan.2004 14:19

BattleCry!

This is quite incredible how obsurd this thread has gotten.
#1 the capitalist system is not gone and it is not going to go away from a handful of individuals simply "walking away" from it. The hippies already tried that. ANY business despite its model has to be capitalist to some extent to exist under this system.
#2 I know not everyone posting here always 100% everytime works for or frequents only co-ops(think about where you get your whisky!). It is hypocritical to hold others to a higher standard than you would for yourself. It is also unreasonable to expect everyone to live by your standards and your standards only. The doctrine of "only one right way to live" is one of the things wrong with civilization. The very essential of life on this planet is diversity. There are many ideas for what life could look like after and before the revolution. We must respect this and keep an open mind. I prefer to support co-ops but I can see why some people would choose not to use this model. In a capitalist dominated society, it is very hard to sustain a co-op. Often co-op members don't get paid because the bills come first or the bills don't get paid because employees come first. In a better system this would be a fabulous idea. But it is very hard the way it is now. I feel it's unfortunate that Calendula is not a co-op but I can understand why it is not. Who knows maybe Craig has a different idea. It would be nice to hear his thoughts on this. I also find it interesting that Rhimsky's, a similar style cafe,(or Old Wive's Tales, etc.) isn't getting the same treatment. Obviously this upset is less about the restaurant itself and more about the owner.
#3 I don't buy the argument that the restaurant is taking business away from co-ops because Calendula provides a different atmosphere. Calendula is more of a fine dining experience. Somewhere you would go for a special birthday or anniversary dinner. It is also appealing to a middle class audience. It introduces vegan food and sustainable business practices to a class that largely has its head up its ass. (plus I have no problem with milking the bourgeousie to fund the take down of the system) ;~)
#4 I have no problem with people doing restaurant reviews on indy as long as they have something to do with community values and the author isn't the owner of the restaurant, etc. I actually had thought about doing that myself, because to be quite honest the food there rocks!
#5 It is unfortunate that the food is spendy but considering the fact that there is a reason for that(ie workers paid well with benefits, etc.) I'm okay with it. Considering that the place is what it is the cost isn't really as bad as it could be. The entrees were on average about $8-$9. When compared to some of the other fine dining restaurants(Kell's, Rheinlander, Sylvia's, Jazz De Opus, etc.) around town that don't serve nearly the quality of food or pay their workers nearly as well, Calendula is actually pretty reasonable.
#6 What it all boils down to is in the mean time we all have to find ways to put roofs over our families' heads. What matters is that we tread as lightly as possible on eachother when we can and that in every spare moment we fight to abolish the system that oppresses us all and keeps our good ideas from becoming successful realities. In my opinion, simply walking away from the system is not fighting the system. It might slightly weaken the system at times and it might feel good but it is going to take alot more effort than that if we want freedom. Defensive and passive resistance to the system are not enough.
#7 my "credentials" ;~) Yes I am an anarchist, Yes I am working class(have been all my life), Yes I have a family to support, Yes I am an anticapitalist. I am not a personal friend of Craig(I think I've only met him briefly like twice).

A Moderating Influence 26.Jan.2004 16:49

Me

I have been quite critical of Rosebraugh's politics in the past, but now that I think about it I am glad that he has opened this upscale dining "experience." The reality of running a business where you have responsibility to the community and your employees is bound to have a moderating influence on Rosebraugh's politics. As a stakeholder, he will be much less likely to advocate "political violence" and an end to capitalism. He will likely become just another middle class lifestyle hippie. A vegan-flavored bobo -- and that's okay with me!

wage slavery 26.Jan.2004 16:52

eric blair

When you choose to employ wage slaves, you choose to exploit others. One must make a conscious choice to buy wage slaves and exploit them for their labor. If you employ wage slaves, then you are therefore a capitalist - making money from the exploitation of others.

On the other hand, when you go shopping, wherever you shop, you are not making money by exploiting others.

If you are anarchist /anti-capitalist, you don't endorse the use of wage slavery. That would be hypocritical.

O.k. "Battlecry"...please everyone consider 26.Jan.2004 19:06

hey hey

boycotting Old Wives' Tales. The owner is extremely abusive to her employees, and fires them at a whim (I've known 3 people who worked there and they all lived in fear of saying the wrong thing to set her off). They are not well paid. She actually expects the waiters to be "on call" (unpaid of course). And the meat served is factory farmed. The front of "natural"/wholesome is just that--a front. That place sucks.

An ad is an ad is an ad 26.Jan.2004 19:29

and capitalism is capitalism

mb, are you a friend of Craig's? Because this doesn't seem like an objective (as if there is such a thing) review to me. You spend too much time in subsequent comments defending Craig's capitalist venture and arguing against those who (justly in my opinion) worry that this is an ad and that Craig seems to have sold out.

I appreciate veganism, and if I go out to a restaurant any time soon, I'll probably give Calendula a try. But this is definitely an advertisement, and doesn't belong here. And yes, opening a capitalist restaurant, peddaling a product for sale, owning the means of production and hiring wage slaves, this IS capitalism. Is there something about the model at Calendula that I'm not seeing? Because it sure looks like capitalism to me, and that sucks.

I think it's o.k. because there are a number of 26.Jan.2004 19:49

&

vegans on here, and people who want organic food, and fair trade products, and it's a rarity to find a restaurant that's committed to those products/values. Reviewing the next standard hotel restaurant--no. But a new "health food" restaurant seems fine.

Old Wives' Tales 26.Jan.2004 20:26

Me

Expect my review of Old Wives' Tales to be posted soon!
Since they are vegan and al.

the vegan restaurant revolution (who knew?) 26.Jan.2004 20:41

android

we co-evolved with animals (indeed, the whole living planet, including and thanks to plants) over the course of many millennia. the very physical structure of our now-deteriorating eyes evolved thanks to our LIVING WITH and also hunting wild animals.
in fact, i think that rediscovering the spirit and wisdom of the hunt, in the context of a greater rediscovery of our roots in wild nature, is one of the basic paths out of our present dilemma. as is, for example, the powerful resurgence of the gathering, wildcrafting, and using of herbs.
i HIGHLY recommend checking out the author paul shepard (he died in 96). particularly 'the tender carnivore' and 'nature and madness'.
the argument should be over the domestication and industrialization of our food in general, and of animals in particular. the veganism-or-not argument too often revolves around the utterly-alienated and depressingly-urbane idea that "compassion" towards animals negates EVER killing/hunting/eating/etc them. please, people, draw distinctions! boycotting industrial animal exploitation, yes. morally pure prohibitions made by city people with little to no meaningful interaction with, or understanding of, the natural world --indeed, i think much of the vegan paradigm is a reflection and confirmation of this life-crippling separation-- , NO.
i just don't think that in our current environment, purchasing locally-raised organic flesh is specifically worse then, say, driving --EVER driving--, let alone any number of other earth-destroying and animal-obliterating activities that we are compelled or choose to participate in by living in our current state. personally, it's one of the lines that i choose to cross, though i absolutely don't like the idea of animals being raised for food (that is, as opposed to ethically and sustainably hunting wild animals). the problem is the big picture, and i'm no more inclined to run off to what little is left of wild nature, hippie-style, than most other people.
PS to the person who hopes calendula influences the red and black to go all-organic: the r+b simply can't afford to go all-organic-- there's no wealthy owner behind the cafe, no deep-pocket investors, no trust funds, and everything is priced on the cheap side so regular working people can afford to eat there. (see the article about the organic food movement by z, featured here very recently). they DO however regularly use organic ingredients and buy locally whenever they can, particularly in the warmer months when the farmers markets are in full swing.
to hell with capitalism, vegan or not!

I posted this before--not sure if it just hasn't made 26.Jan.2004 21:33

again

it up yet or what...but Old Wive's Tales is not vegan. And in fact they use factory farmed meat, not free range or organic or anything. Just regular old factory farmed miserable flesh. The owner is horrible to her employees. Not well paid, and I've known 3 people who've worked there who have lived in fear of losing their jobs, as she goes off on rants and whims. She expects servers to be available for on-call shift (available but unpaid unless the server was called in). The "natural"/wholesome front that place puts on is a facade. Don't go there.

Slavery has been an integral part of 26.Jan.2004 21:41

__

human history too. But we ethically grew beyond that. Perhaps some day people will grow beyond seeing the lives of our fellow creatures as nothing more than a meal (as farmed meats are--that's the entire purpose of their lives. Note the hundreds of cattle who were killed and dumped because they were from a herd that may or may not have had BSE--and, if not to be sold for meat, their very lives were an inconvenience and they were slaughtered and put in the landfill. It certainly seems problematic to value another life only as you can use it for food, research, whatever; iin this country we don't need to eat animals). We accept that exploiting humans is wrong. Some day I hope that we will extend our circle of compassion to the animals too, and stop making excuses for how we exploit and use them.

Easy 26.Jan.2004 23:24

to stop eating meat for some

When I said it was easy to stop eating meat, I meant that it is easy for some. It is easy if you're not conflicted about it. It is easy if you have no strong desire to eat it.

The person to whom I was addressing my comments seemed to imply that it was a great feat to stop eating meat, that it was noble, sacrificial, admirable, etc. That's how I interpreted it anyway. My comments were meant to say that if you really believe in not eating meat, it should be easy, therefore not something to be applauded or used to assert your superiority. And if it is difficult to stop eating meat, then maybe the person has a great desire for meat. If that person has a great desire to eat meat, maybe he/she should not be so judgemental toward others. I didn't explain this completely, nor want to. It's better to let people think.

There are many who do have a strong desire to eat it, many who seem to have a physical need to eat it. I think these people really need to have animal protein in their diets, and should do so. My body chemistry/needs are different than yours... everyone has to make the right decision for themselves, for their health and conscience. Judging people over this issue doesn't make much sense.

And heroes... 26.Jan.2004 23:30

Come on

And heroes to the animals when you decide not to eat meat?

Come on. They are not aware of you.

And some of them eat meat too.

Learn about Farm Sanctuary, where 27.Jan.2004 06:31

kari

the animals have value other than as a source of food for you...

 http://www.farmsanctuary.com/adopt/rescues2.htm

Diet and Spirituality 27.Jan.2004 09:24

Kawp

Mine was the first comment about how eating or not eating meat does not make you a better person. Some people begged to differ saying not eating animals already makes you more compassionate and evolved than others. Umm...not if you are ridiculing and judging others, it doesn't!

You? 27.Jan.2004 11:54

you are assuming a lot

Who are you talking to? Who are you accusing of only seeing animals as a food source? What evidence do you have of that? What do you really know?

Start thinking a little more, preaching a little less, and praising yourself... not at all. You shouldn't need that.

experience is experience 27.Jan.2004 12:05

the invitation

To those who eat animals and think that giving up eating animals will not change their perception of animals and themselves, I can only suggest that you try not eating animals for a while. I planned to give up eating animals for a month to see how I felt, and I never went back. I would have fallen into the same arguments as those here, being defensive of those who talk about a different understanding based on not participating in the mass suffering and slaughter of other animals. That defensiveness, I realize now, is a sign that one understands the truth, for if one were comfortable in eating animals, one would not be defensive about doing so. But I will not preach, merely invite others to seek the experience for themselves. Stop eating animals for a month or so and let your own personal experience guide you. I don't expect that people all have the same experiences, but life is too short not to make attempts at learning more about oneself and one's place in the world. As soon as I gave up eating animals I found myself relating to the world and the individuals in it differently and I found them relating to me differently. Perhaps it is true that our contribution to the suffering of animals on this planet does lead to soul-death. But a person can only choose for themselves to move away from that despair. The invitation is open, do with it as you will...

Again, who are you talking to? 27.Jan.2004 13:58

you are assuming too much

My argument in this thread is against the holier than thou attitude that some people have about their veganism, and their posturing as having a supposedly superior compassion for animals. This very close-minded, judgemental view has more to do with contempt for humans with different ways and views, than it does compassion for animals.

It really would be a shame if there wasn't anyone on indymedia that objected to such a dictatorial attitude. It is amazing that you could attribute this kind of objection to some kind of defensiveness about eating meat. But that shows your narrowness of mind on this issue.

I can understand that you have had a good experience as a vegan. I also know that some people can't do it, and some don't want to do it. That doesn't make them bad people. That doesn't make them craven carnivores who drool at the sight of a cow. From Kari's post that's how I imagine she sees all who don't completely agree with her. That is absurd, isn't it? I really can't imagine anyone who could see animals as only a food source, but it's easy for Kari to do so. She's obviously removed herself from many of her fellow humans, and thus lost a lot of understanding. In the process, unfortunately she is exhibiting one of the very ugly, human behaviors. People who eat meat aren't bad people, they aren't less than you, they are just different than you.

The invitation for any here to visit the farm sanctuary site is pretentious, and so is your invitation. No one in this thread has suggested a callousness toward animals. You are assuming that you are talking to people who have never done what you've done. You are assuming that you know better for them. You know what's good for you. I wouldn't argue with that. I wouldn't presume to tell you what to eat, or not eat. But you are so satisfied with yourself, you can't even consider that there are people who have needs that you don't, and experience things differently than you.

Well, surely I understand that when you have a good experience you want to spread the word, but that's not what's going on here.

I hope people like you don't have to travel outside of the country, but if you do that you stifle it a little. If not you will perpetuate the stereotype of the ugly American.

Compassion for animals is a good thing. Humans are animals... And many animals are carnivores... Where's your compassion? Chasing it's tail?

Re. only seeing animals as a food 27.Jan.2004 14:17

*

source. I invite you to learn about animal farming. Try  http://www.cok.net or  http://www.veganoutreach.com (how animals are made into food section), or just do a search. Their lives are treated as worthless except for what they can produce for humans. Minimal standards of doing what animals do are not met. They're heavily confined, crowded, most never see sunlight, etc. Once their high production value is gone (dairy cows, egg laying hens), they're finished (even on organic and so-called "free range" farms). Male chicks on egg farms are destroyed. All cows are separated from their mothers at birth so that most of their milk can go to humans (then cows are fed minimal amounts of milk, and calve feed). Have a look at how pigs are reared--mother pigs kept in stalls so they can't even turn around--fed at one end, hosed off at the other. The 500 or so cattle who were just killed because they may have been from the same herd as the mad cow? Couldn't be used as food, so they ended up in the landfill immediately. No thought at all to their value as living creatures. In animal farming, their lives are just an inconvenient stage on the way to your dinner table, and they are treated as such.

You think you see them as other than food, but the people who bring them to you do not treat them that way. That's not preachy, that's just reality.

Re. many animals are carnivores... 27.Jan.2004 14:29

hmm

Well, most of the animals who kill for food could not survive if they didn't. That is not the case for us.

(They also don't farm other animals in the very cruel and intensive ways that we do to feed themselves their flesh. And I'm sure that I don't need to make the argument to you that we can make choices about ethical behavior that most animals cannot).

Many other animals are also vegetarians, including some of our closest primate relatives. Why don't we look to them as our example instead of to carnivores?

you are projecting too much 27.Jan.2004 14:52

listener

"My argument in this thread is against the holier than thou attitude that some people have about their veganism"

While some vegans do indeed have this attitude, it has not been expressed here; it seems you are projecting your own assumptions onto others. No one has said that people who eat animals are bad people so you can dispense with the straw man arguments, no one will fall for them. Instead, what people have stated that not eating animals is a compassionate thing to do. Is anyone arguing against this point? Is this narrow-minded?

"No one in this thread has suggested a callousness toward animals"

Defending eating animals does suggest to many, myself included, a callousness toward animals (though it is far from a conclusion). What could be more callous than eating an animal that has been raised in captivity and suffered immensely? Or are we to assume that all people attacking veganism, vegetarianism, and those who follow those lifestyles all raise their own food in a happy healthy environment. That would presume too much in my opinion.

"From Kari's post that's how I imagine she sees all who don't completely agree with her."

Imagine, or assume... Afterall, you know nothing more about her views than we know about yours; only what you both have laid out here.

"You are assuming that you know better for them. You know what's good for you."

No one has said differently; except to point out that we know it's preferable to the animals to not suffer and be killed for food.

"Well, surely I understand that when you have a good experience you want to spread the word, but that's not what's going on here."

That's all I see going on here, people encouraging others to learn, to grow, to evolve. Not everyone will follow the same path but it is always better to try things. And for those that have tried and decided to continue to eat animals they are free to share those experiences as well. And those who must eat animals for health reasons and the like are not in a position of choice; hence there can be no judgment. But those people are in the vast minority. I myself thought I was one of them only to prove myself wrong.

Listening to others can be difficult, especially with issues tied up with a person's identity. But we must all strive toward loving communication with each other, and all beings on this planet if we truly wish to find peace and happiness here.

So, to those here, who is really judging who in this debate?

Those who have said:
"As soon as I gave up eating animals I found myself relating to the world and the individuals in it differently and I found them relating to me differently."
"the animals have value other than as a source of food for you"

Or those who have said:
"Start thinking a little more, preaching a little less, and praising yourself... not at all."
"If not you will perpetuate the stereotype of the ugly American."

I suppose we must all be reminded from time to time "Judge not, lest ye be judged."

You don't need to invite me 27.Jan.2004 15:18

I already know that

And I agree with you on that.

(Another condescending invitation. I feel so popular, yet so disrespected.)

That's not what my point was. I am not defending the food industry and I never said anything to imply that I was. In suggesting that I have been, you continue to make assumptions with no evidence and based upon your own prejudice.

It is a very good thing that people raise awareness about how animals are treated in this food "industry" for lack of a better word. It is a very good thing that people try to make things better for animals. It is a shame though, when attempts to do that are clouded by the judgemental attitudes and behaviors to which I have been clearly objecting. I wrote that I was objecting to attitudes, not that I was defending inhumane practices of the food industry. I was pretty clear.

Your insistence on terming things as "on the way to your dinner table," and "the people who bring them to you" reveal your continued contempt and superior attitude. You just can't hide it, even when you are talking about something worthwhile. That is really a shame. The only kind of people you will convert with that kind of attitude are those who are lost and easily bullied. They won't help you accomplish anything.

Your insistence that I am a big consumer of meat is a joke. I eat it sometimes, but barely. Meat is rarely on my table, and usually only when someone else is involved. I don't desire it much. I don't support this industry you protest. The fact that you think that I do, just because I am not a total vegan, or am tolerant of people who eat meat, just shows your prejudice, intolerance, and I have to say it, simple-mindedness. You continue to ignore my point. You and your attitude are a detriment to your cause. You have to use your brain a little more, and get rid of the anger, or you will get nowhere.

who is being judgemental (not too mention insulting), part 2 27.Jan.2004 15:32

enjoying the discussion

"just shows your prejudice, intolerance, and I have to say it, simple-mindedness."
"You have to use your brain a little more, and get rid of the anger, or you will get nowhere."

or...

"on the way to your dinner table,"
"the people who bring them to you"

Sometimes the truth is so bright I am left in awe...

You know what "I already know that," 27.Jan.2004 15:44

kari

I haven't made all those assumptions about you that you're defending against. I have to agree with the previous poster that much of what you're saying about attitude seems to be projection. Most of the anger and hostility that I see on this thread are coming from you, my friend. Why are invitations threatening to you? An invitation is not a demand; you can decline it without being angry that it was even offered. And not everything on this thread is personally directed to you either.

I already took the invitation 27.Jan.2004 15:54

Kawp

I went vegan two years ago. Didn't let that develop into a judgmental and pious attitude against the rest of the world exemplified by Joanne Stepaniak, the folks at Vegan Outreach and some of the posters on this thread.

As I said before: Not eating animals does not make you an enlightened human being if at the same time you refuse to show compassion to humans as well.

listener 27.Jan.2004 15:56

K

You think you are so superior because you don't eat meat. Yeah, it's so wrong the way animals are raised and killed but the people who eat meat are not the problem. It's the corporations and the rules that our government sets for them and allows this stuff to go on. Unless everyone stopped eating meat this problem with animal abuse would still go on. I think that you should maybe stop being so judgemental and stop acting like you are so much better of a person than those who eat meat---your not. You are probably one of those people who are always asking people if they are vegetarians or not. When they say no, you feel so much better about yourself for being such a sacrificing, compassionate person. Beacuse you know, those who eat meat have to agree with the way corporate animal farms treat their animals, right??

perhaps I'm missing something 27.Jan.2004 16:20

reader

But I still have not seen any evidence of condescension or condemnation of non-vegans on this thread. Would someone care to point out what they find so objectionable? Is it just that people have written in the second-person and others have thought they were being addressed specifically instead of statements addressing the global readership of this site (cause that seems kind of silly)?

Listener 27.Jan.2004 16:24

I am not

I am not asking anyone to practice any differently. Eat meat, don't eat meat. It doesn't make a difference. We can all live together, at least I think so. The condescension is there in terms like "people like you," in the assumptions of meat consumption, the assumptions of ignorance of the issue based on one viewpoint, etc. I didn't imagine that. I just didn't let anything slip by.

My characterization of Kari's view of me or people like me (since she doesn't know me) was colorful, but not much of a stretch. To view anyone as seeing animals only as a food source is grossly judgemental, cartoonish and stereotyping. I can't imagine anyone that limited, but Kari did, and labeled me as that. I didn't make that up. If you would be happier that I simply responded to her as saying, "No I don't only see animals as a food source," then we will have to agree to disagree.

My protestation does not have it's origin in a defense of my desire for meat, or my guilt for eating it. I don't desire it much and I don't eat it much. That just isn't my issue at all. The idea is laughable and another condescension. As if any protestation has to be wrapped up in the desire for meat. You're either with us or against us. People are not always that simple.

I do not want anyone I argued with to change their eating habits, or lessen their compassion for animals, or their striving to make life better for animals. Some of those things suggest understanding and expansiveness. I pointed out what I see as just the opposite. I did so not to stop anyone, but to possibly point out something that is not consistent, and something that is detrimental. If you believe in something that's "good" you can get nasty in your attempts to achieve it. That works against you in the end and convolutes the cause. I was trying to point that out. I did it tenaciously. In at least one post I was talking to two different people with slightly different attitudes, but lumped them into one for expediency sake. It surely looks like an overreaction to one, but not to the other.

I say I was trying to point that contradiction out, but that was only with the hope that the people I was arguing with really did have the same intention at the core of their belief, so pointing that out would be useful. I don't assume that was the case however.

I don't think I was preaching any point. In the beginning I was pointing some things out with which I didn't agree, and later I was responding to the categorizations of terms like "people like you."

I think we disagree.

I'm not judgmental... unlike those *other people* 27.Jan.2004 16:27

still enjoying the discussion

"I went vegan two years ago. Didn't let that develop into a judgmental and pious attitude against the rest of the world exemplified by Joanne Stepaniak, the folks at Vegan Outreach and some of the posters on this thread."

Actually, you did let that develop into a judgmental position against "Joanne Stepaniak, the folks at Vegan Outreach and some of the posters on this thread" whom you seem to feel superior to in your beliefs and actions. Perhaps you should show them some compassion. Still, I admit, as a vegan you may still be more compassionate than I (though I am not encouraging a debate over who is more compassionate).

The folks at Vegan Outreach are pious? Have you 27.Jan.2004 16:32

kari

looked at that site? They're totally aware of incremental changes and helping people to make good and compassionate choices for both themselves and the animals. If Vegan Outreach still seems too preachy, try Compassion Over Killing  http://www.cok.net Presenting facts about how animals are raised doesn't seem to me to be pious. Helping people to practically find other options--recipes, supplements, etc.--seems very kind to me, rather than an organization just saying "don't do this!" and not presenting alternatives. Or maybe I'm not understanding your point, and if so, sorry.

Also, what's wrong with Farm Sanctuary? That's a great site and I love seeing how those animals are rescued from the "food supply" and made healthy and are able to live their lives in peace. To me it's very touching, and a concrete example of why I want to live my life being compassionate to the animals.

taking things personally 27.Jan.2004 16:35

enjoying the discussion even more

So, if instead of "people like you" a statement attempting to call people into place of self-reflection the authors had chosen to use the word "humans" instead you would not have been offended? I agree with reader, that seems kind of silly to assume that a statement here is directed at *you* personally (of course, this statement and my last one were but I thought that was obvious). In general the choice of using the second person is one to try to address the reader in general to get them to examine their views. But all this debate over semantics... well, it's no worse than how this thread started I suppose.

So, let's revise:

"Making the choice to not serve them up at all is not being done by other restaurants--who may have vegan "alternatives," but still purchase the flesh of miserable creatures for humans to eat."

"I hope humans don't have to travel outside of the country, but if you do that you stifle it a little. If not you will perpetuate the stereotype of the ugly American."

Is everyone happy with the semantics now, should we move on...

I think I understand now 27.Jan.2004 16:41

reader

Vegans preaching about being a non-preachy vegan are better than those preaching about being a vegan... Or did I get that reversed...

This discussion is excellent.

Well, I'm curious if not using 27.Jan.2004 17:03

kari

words like "you" and "your" would have made the difference in the defensiveness? I kind of doubt it, but I feel more sensitized to the language now, and at least I will try to be more careful.

What seems strange to me is that before I stopped eating animals, I didn't really defend it--I mean, it's impossible to argue that it's the compassionate choice for the animals on any level. I wasn't aware of just how much the animals were suffering, and I guess on some level I didn't really want to know, while I was still eating them (which was weak of me). I guess I would have felt like "I know it's not o.k. for the animals, but I'm not ready to give it up." I wouldn't have mounted more of a defense than that. I mean, come on, it's not o.k. for the animals, and most of us in this country have a choice. But I don't think I'd feel personally affronted or offended, more just "yeah, they're right--it is the more compassionate choice--but I'm not ready to do that right now." So why all the anger?

I am not a vegan separatist 27.Jan.2004 17:43

Michael B

First, I am not a vegan. I recently started eating eggs again to build up cholestoral and fat in my body. I work 50+ hours as a carpenter. I was wasting away. Second, I know vegans in this town that FORCE thier cats to be vegan. I've met at least one vegan that spanked her cat in front of me for bringing her a bird it had killed for her. I do not believe that a stricktly vegan diet is sustianable without industrialized agriculture. Yes, I am aware that this depends on how you define industrialization. I think it is racist for us to say that Native peoples in alaska must live be vegan. I believe that many attitudes presented by so called compassionate people in our "community" have more to do with perpetuating a legacy of moral imperialism than real compassion. That said, in contrast to the lifestyle presented by mainstream america veganism is downright healthy. Not for everyone- but for many people it can reduce the risk of serious desease. In my view bieng vegan is more about taking responsability for my historical place in society than it is about some hyperinflated sense of compassion. Vegans should recognize that death is a part of life. Death and explotation should not be worshiped as our culture does, but niether should some ficticious belief that animals and man exist in some utopian vacume where suffering has no place. When your body hurts from working to hard, this tells you it's time to stop. Imagine how memorable a childs birth would be if you felt nothing. I refuse to respect this state of alienation because I see that it's no different from the one we live in now.

Now, for you "revolutionaries" that think revolutions don't take capital, or labor I'd say you probably havn't done much actavism. Let alone trying to get bullets. I agree with the poster that asked us to examine our own power dynamics if we are to criticize others. I think this is gonna make alot of us sad. But, I believe there is some hope. Hope that we can get past issues like alchoholism, gender oppression, our own support of the current political structure in this country, issues like the Racism fundamental to that support and our culture. I know an artist that is so anti capitalist his girlfriend is forced to support him. He often criticizes others for thier capitalist behavior. I've met Anti- Authoriterians that won't shut up long enough to listen to the people they're working with, or against. I don't believe that opening a restruant is fundamentally revolutionary. When we told Craigr that folks were saying this he just laughed.

for more info
search indy for the term "lifestylist"

Michael, come on, be serious. You may know a 27.Jan.2004 18:41

*

crazy vegan who spanked her cat, but most people who are vegan would be completely appalled by that, and certainly you know that. Please don't pick the example of the craziest person you can find and make it in any way representative of the group. Most people who choose to be vegan do so ultimately because they care for the suffering of animals, and would not hit their animals. For godsakes, they are doing it because they can't abide by animal abuse. The person you are talking about has issues. Truthfully, I'm a bit annoyed that you found someone who commits animal abuse, and obviously doesn't understand the nature of animals, and then use them as an example. You're describing animal abuse and ignorance, not an outgrowth of veganism. Obviously a cat is not going to get the message. If I hear of a day care owner abusing children, I don't let that reflect for me on the many day care owners who got into the business because they love children.

Next, people who need to eat meat to survive are kind of exempt from the discussion. If native peoples have no other means of survival, it's a bit of a different story, and most would agree with that. And they also don't tend to intensively factory farm animals, but go out and hunt them where at least the animal had some chance at a life, even though their death deprives their social group (it is still important to recognize that their lives mean something to the social group they come from, and not treat the deaths callously).

And next, what do you mean come to terms with death? The problem is as much--actually more--about the lifelong abuse the farmed animals face than the fact of their death. People have to die too, but we don't cage them for their entire lives, then stun them, then drag them through boiling water, skin them alive, etc.

Michael, I understand that you have been a vegan, but I don't really sense that you understand why the majority (kind of the "mainstream" of vegans) become so, and the rationale for continuing. Maybe take a look at some of the sites that have been listed, and read up on the philosophy. And stop hanging around crazy people who spank their cats, dude, she's not representative.

Crazy Vegans 27.Jan.2004 19:52

Kawp

I have found Joanne Stepaniak' s attitude to be ridiculous. I read one of her books last year about how she rescued a chicken for farm sanctuary and as she approached it she said over and over to the chicken, "vegan...vegan.." I cracked up -- what a nut! She also likes to rewrite folk expressions in order to erase the language of oppression such as " you can't beat a dead horse" and the like. What she doesn't understand is that nobody decided that these expressions would be widely used, they just ended up that way because they resonated with people. Her ideas just do not resonate with a large group of people.

When Stepaniak is not regaling us with nutty anecdotes or language revision she preaches about the true and automatic compassion of vegans just because they do not use animal products. She is not the only one. I would love to find just good, solid, practical, information about meatless food and products and stuff that is not tested/made up of animals. Every where I look for information, I get a sermon instead!

Stepaniak represents just about every vegan I have come in contact with. I think there are a lot of things admirable about the lifestyle, but it seems that people get caught up in their own press and start to believe they are gandhis. As I keep saying, you are not enlightened if you lack compassion. And no, I do not claim to be enlightened.

Unfortunately, depriving pets of meat seems to be the rule rather than the exception among vegans. They are imposing their own values on the animals and then feel that they are being "compassionate." Personally, I consider that abuse of animals.

About the guy who knows the woman who spanked her cat for bringing in the dead bird. That woman would not have done that for long in front of me -- if I had to bodily stop her, I would. Cats are my favorite animals and I don't deal well with people who abuse animals.

I should amend--it seems that for people 27.Jan.2004 22:09

*

who are committing to STICK with vegetarianism/veganism, their reasons generally are based on compassion. Health reasons don't seem to stick, because there are lower fat meats like fish and chicken (the consumption of which has gone up dramatically due to concerns about saturated fats from red meats), which may be fine health-wise in moderation. Here's some info from  http://www.veganoutreach.com

The Health Argument

As Donna Maurer concluded in her dissertation (1997) about the vegetarian movement in North America, "the strategies that vegetarian groups enact to promote 'healthy diets' for each individual's personal benefit inhibit people from adopting a collective vegetarian identity based on moral concern regarding human/animal relationships; without commitment to this moral concern, 'being a vegetarian' is a lifestyle vulnerable to changing personal and cultural tastes."

Many activists believe the health argument to be the most effective for promoting vegetarianism because it is the least threatening and appeals to people's self-interest. We question whether this is really the best tactic for the following reasons:

- Even if ethics is not as effective as the health argument at initially persuading some people, those who are motivated to change based on ethics will be better spokespersons for veganism. In the promotion of animal liberation, each individual's example and actions as a spokesperson are at least as important as the economic impact their individual choices have. Promoting a "plant-based" diet for health reasons feeds our society's focus on selfishness by implying that animal suffering is not worthy of people's concern. It delays the time when we, as a society, will come to terms with our treatment of animals.

- Diets based on health claims are subject to further change based on new, low-fat animal products and fad diets (The Zone, Eat Right for Your Type, etc.). People who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet to feel healthier will resume consuming animal products if they feel no improvement. Because they do not necessarily have their hearts into being vegetarian or vegan, they often will not experiment with it long enough to find a way of eating that makes them feel healthy. This can have far-reaching, negative effects as they go on to tell others how unhealthy they felt when they were veg.

- In the past twenty years, the number of animals killed has skyrocketed because of the move toward eating more chickens and fish, brought about in part because of people trying to eat less red meat for health reasons.

I hope no one minds 27.Jan.2004 22:59

enjoyer

But I think I'll continue pointing out the blatantly hypocritical and contradictory posts on this thread.

"That woman would not have done that for long in front of me -- if I had to bodily stop her, I would."

But wait, I thought you "didn't let that develop into a judgmental and pious attitude against the rest of the world" and that "imposing their own values on the animals" was wrong.

So, vegans imposing their views on others by sermonizing is bad, but a person stopping what is believed to be an abuse of an animal by using bodily force is not? Isn't that imposing your own views and values on another animal (not that I disagree with the action at all)? And if so, it does seem that at least by "sermonizing" you aren't forcing your values on others.

Or, in other words, what is the difference between:
"I believe spanking an animal is wrong and I will stop it if I see it"
and
"I believe that raising animals in conditions where they suffer and are then killed is wrong and I will try to educate others to stop their participation and support for those activities."

The first seems much more imposing to me.

"I have found Joanne Stepaniak' s attitude to be ridiculous"
"When Stepaniak is not regaling us with nutty anecdotes"
"it seems that people get caught up in their own press and start to believe they are gandhis"

But thank god you "didn't let that develop into a judgmental and pious attitude against the rest of the world" because we can only imagine what that would mean...

p.s.
Don't take this personally, I'm not trying to make an attack I really just find all of this terribly amusing and I can't resist. We all say contradictory and hypocritical things sometimes. Being called on it is the best thing that could happen, so long as no one is judging you or attacking you because you are given an opportunity to really reflect on what you think and feel and how effectively you are communicating with those thoughts and emotions with others. I think most people here would agree that spanking a cat is abusive, and that it is certainly not representative of anyone, vegans, vegetarians, cat owners, etc.

Sure 27.Jan.2004 23:15

Mb

Ok I'll aknowledge that her act of spanking the cat may be an anomoly. If you aknowledge that there are a great many meat eating, pepsi drinking, "animal welfare" actavists that donate to animal rights organizations. I know. I've traveled the country and met them. There's also a vigorous debate within the vegan community about weither or not you should make your cat or dog vegan. Maybee I'm just misleading people. If so then how do you explain the book on the subject they sell at food fight?
I went on the primate freedom tour. I've met a great many vegans across this country and frankly I beleave that most animal rights actavists I've met care more about animals than they do people. I've had too many people tell me this to think it's an anomoly. I think that if you organized against factory farms on the grounds that they target and oppress the poor and create a class of permanant murderers the issue you stand for might resonate with people outside of the ultra "compassionate". Frankly I'm of a mind that if people are going to eat animals they should take the moral responsability for killing the creature. Maybee that makes me less vegan. But I think people would eat a hell of a lot less meat if that were the case. (that is the goal isn't it?) But hell, that might mean that we have to treat some hunters with more respect. Similarly a great many people are getting sick or dying from animal based medicines that are bieng tested on them. Will animal rights actavists/organizaitons ever focus on helping these people? Maybee I'm just going to the dark side. Maybee you're polarized beyond belief.

Huh? Michael, the anti-vivisection movement focuses 28.Jan.2004 00:12

*

an incredible amount of effort on the fact that animal research doesn't help humans, and in fact hurts them. There are 2 basic premises to stopping vivisection: 1) the science is bad and hurts humans; 2) it's extreme cruelty to animals. If you don't think the focus is also on #1, take a look at  http://www.ohsukillsprimates.com and  http://www.curedisease.com Just because activists are putting the info out there doesn't mean that the media is picking it up. I've seen you post about this before. Please do some research to disabuse yourself of the notion that activists are not concerned about human health too, and are not using that argument in the anti-vivisection debate.

There are people who are interested in having their pets be vegetarians. For dogs this seems to be fine. Apparently research shows that they don't need to eat meat. In fact the longest living dog known today is a vegetarian! (Can't remember how old he is, but the info is out on the web somewhere). Of course people should research the proper diet. Cats need to eat meat or have their diets supplemented with taurine and other nutrients. One needs to do the proper research and buy the proper products. Look, dogs and cats are domestic animals. They no longer hunt and scavenge and get their own food. They can have many different diets, and as long as someone does it responsibly, the animal's health does not suffer--and at least in the case of that dog, he's absolutely thriving. If I were worried about unnatural diets, I'd be more worried about farmed cows--they're fed animal products, and they're herbivores! That drastically more prevalent than anything vegetarians are doing with their pets.

It may seem to you that people who are concerned about animal welfare don't like people, but my guess is that it's very surprising for people to be confronted with the idea that animal interests count for something real and valuable, and people's even trivial interests don't always come first--and people may have to sacrifice some things that they want, in order to not exploit animals--and that may seem anti-human to some, but I don't think it is. There's also a lot of sadness people carry around who do this work, when they see the incredible abuses heaped on innocent animals, and how many humans are complicit in it, and unwilling to change some preferences like not wearing fur coats and going to animal-based circuses etc. And yes, in many cases (not all, I agree with you), meat is not really necessary, at least the volume of meat consumed in this country, but a taste preference, weighed against an animal's "right" not to be caged and suffer for its whole life, go roughly to the slaughter house, and end up in someone's BLT. But Michael, as I've read your posts, you seem to have as many or more negative feelings about animal rights activists and vegans than you do about the animal abusers. Please don't take this as an insult, but when you say that you were a vegan not so much for the animals but because of a place in history, I can see that animal rights stuff isn't really your thing, and perhaps that's why you may have some difficulty with the activists and vegans who are most concerned about animal welfare.

M, by that last comment, I mean that 28.Jan.2004 00:24

*

the passion for stopping abuse of animals and trying to educate others may not resonate with you, and perhaps that's some of the discomfort around being around animal rights/anti-abuse motivated vegans (just trying to understand where you're coming from).

Learned something new 28.Jan.2004 01:50

!

Here, I guess the dog would be 29 now  link to www.dogsinthenews.com

On dogs and cats, this seems pretty mainstream  http://vegetarian.about.com/library/weekly/aa090798.htm Of course I'd do research if I were going to feed a vegetarian diet to a dog or cat, but it seems like there's a lot of information out there.

where would Indymedia be without judgmental people? 28.Jan.2004 11:55

Kawp

Enjoyer - Your comments are interesting. (I know, a judgment!) They are also too cute by half. I am arguing a point and to do so would mean that I have to stake a position (make a judgement), and state why I feel the other side is wrong (more judging). Otherwise, my only comment on this thread would be, "spank a cat ... eat a dog ... do whatever." In fact, you too could be charged with being "judgmental" simply by deciding that my comments were judgmental!

The reason why I object to Stepaniak specifcially is that she attempts to define veganism from her own point of view solely and provides little information beyond that which reflects her perspective. A lot of people feel strongly about veganism as a lifestyle and I can respect that. But when people feel strongly about something they tend to be ruled by emotion. Hence, when it comes to veganism and attendant food philosophies, finding information that is based on fact rather than emotion is difficult and thus the information tends not to be reliable.

Also, I don't think it is hypocritical at all to be against someone cat spanking and okay with people eating meat. If I saw somebody abusing a cow, I would react the same way but if I saw somebody slaughtering the cow I wouldn't be angry with that person.

P.S. I think the "health" issue is a good reason to become vegan. That' s why I did it.

Umm...please look at the 28.Jan.2004 16:24

X

sources about farming that have been provided! You don't seem to realize that the farming practices used today ARE ABUSIVE to animals. Cows ARE being abused. When you eat that hamburger, you are eating an animal who has been abused for it's entire life. I see now the problem with your stance--which is that you seem to not be informed about farming practices and how abusive they are to animals, which is why most people advocating veganism on here are doing so. I notice there are a number of links listed above which show and describe farming practices, please be brave enough and honest enough have a look. No arguments about being preached to--those are not preachy sites. Or do a search and find the facts on your own.

Yes, health reasons for veganism are great. But vegans who are vegans for health reasons tend to slip back into meat eating more so than those who do so for animal welfare. See the short article posted on that a few posts up.

Really, I do encourage you to learn about farming practices. If you are concerned about abuse to animals, you will be quite surprised to learn how badly they are treated. Torture is not too strong a word, in most cases.

inquiry about investment 06.Jul.2004 10:05

Amit

Ok, I am not sure if this is the right place to ask this question, so ignore if irrelevant to you. How much would it cost to open a restraunt in hydrabad? "Average" restraunt - look wise but high quality food - assume we make keep profit at all.