I’m back with a few more links for y’all.
I’m glad to announce that the Bring Frank N. Foode to Life campaign was more than successful. Not only did they raise enough for their initial goal of producing Frank plush, they also raised the funds to produce a GE papaya friend for Frank. So who is gonna buy me a papaya plush as a gift? No, seriously.
A Vegan Skeptics Guide:
As Ive mentioned before, I’m an avid podcast listener. Probably my favorite podcast is the Skeptics Guide to the Universe. I discovered it a number years ago upon getting my first mp3 player and while looking for science news to keep me occupied at work. I quickly listened through the entire back catalog of shows and have kept up to date with it ever since. So I was glad to hear on the latest episode that Steven Yenzer, a vegan skeptic from the United States, wrote in with the following email,
As a vegan skeptic, I often find myself in arguments with omnivores who seem to rely almost exclusively on logical fallacies to justify their diets. Examples include: – ‘Humans have been eating meat for tens of thousands of years…’ (Argument from antiquity) – ‘Lions hunt and kill animals. Humans are no different It’s natural to eat meat.’ (Naturalistic fallacy) One I hear a lot though, is the question of ‘Well what would we do with all the animals that already exist? Should we just kill them? Stop them from reproducing?’ Of course, this has nothing to do with the question of whether it’s ethically acceptable to raise and kill animals for food. It may be an unsolved problem, but it doesn’t justify a continuation of that policy. So is this just a red herring? Non-sequitur? The latter also appears a lot, as in ‘Harvesting vegetables kills insects!’ and ‘Vegetables are bad for the environment, too!’ Thanks!
The hosts discussed the email and had a small debate over the ethics of using animals for food. One of the hosts who is a pecsatarian wrote her own follow up to the episode to address some point she felt were missed. I have had many of the same experiences as Steven here whenever veganism or animal rights comes up even among rationalists. If I hear one more person ask about the restaurant at the end of the universe I’ll scream. Not much really came out of the discussion on the podcast but I recommend listening to it and responding to the follow up.
More Anti-Vax Nonsense?:
Gary Francione, prominent abolitionist vegan author , apparently doesn’t believe in vaccination according to a new post from Speaking of Research, a staunchly pro-animal research organization. If the video represents his actual words, rather than something taken far out of context, then this is very concerning. Anti-vaccination nonsense is already widespread amount many animal activists to the point that some refuse vaccination not only for themselves but for their companion animals. The last thing we need is for a prominent figure in the movement to fan the flames of irrationality. I’ve discussed the importance of a science-based approach to vaccination here and elsewhere.
If you know when and where the speech in the post took place or know where to access full video then please let me know.
Cranking It Out:
Kick the Kale:
Kale is great, though Im no where near convinced that it is anywhere close to as good as some other vegans tell it. In a recent post The VeganRD Ginny Messina writes about why you might want to curb your kale chip habit, “We vegans love our cruciferous veggies—kale, collards, broccoli, and bok choy—in part because they are excellent sources of calcium. But, they are quite a bit lower in potassium than other greens like spinach and chard.” Before you freak out too much she goes on to say that she is, “not suggesting that you stop eating kale (vegan sacrilege!). It’s just a good idea to remember the rule of variety when it comes to fruits and vegetables.”