Daily Walrus - Helping People Help Animals

Bring Your Veg*nism to School

April 3, 2008
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Next week for class, I (Jenny) have to compare two research articles on the same topic and discuss the methodology of them in a class presentation (I won’t bore you with the details of this project).  I am using this as an opportunity to teach my classmates about vegetarianism.  I have chosen two articles, which both come to the conclusion that vegetarianism reduces the risk for colorectal cancer.  So while I am blowing their minds with my skills in research methodology, I am also teaching them about the benefits of going vegetarian.  When you are given a class project, try to think of it as a way to teach your teacher and/or your classmates about living a cruelty free life.


Post Vegetarian/Vegan Info At the Market

March 10, 2008
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One of the cool things about NYC is that there are tons of super markets and corner stores in every neighborhood.  Most of these places have a community bulletin board for people to post announcements and information.  We like to stick information on vegetarianism and veganism in the markets we shop at around our apartment.  You can get free information and materials from PETA by clicking here, or from Mercy For Animals by clicking here.  They will usually send you other well-produced materials you can post as well.   Help out your fellow shoppers by ordering some information and start posting info on healthy, plant-based diets today!

If Prince Fielder Can Go Vegetarian, So Can You

February 22, 2008
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Check out this post from AOL Fanhouse.  Milwaukee Brewers slugger Prince Fielder has given up meat and is eating a vegetarian diet.  For those who don’t follow baseball, Prince Fielder is an old-school, non-steroid sculpted, home run hitting machine.  Guys who look like him are not the guys you expect to be vegetarian.  He made the decision after reading a book his wife gave him that described the treatment of animals used in food production. 

“After reading that, (meat) just didn’t sound good to me anymore,” Fielder said. “It grossed me out a little bit. It’s not a diet thing or anything like that. I don’t miss it at all.”

Fielder joins an ever-growing list of vegetarian/vegan athletes including ultimate fighter Mac Danzig, NBA baller Salim Stoudamire, and ultramarathoner Scott Jurek.  If these guys can give up animal products and perform at such high levels, so can you.  For more info on going vegetarian, click here.

To learn why you should consider a vegetarian diet, click here.

Go Green

January 30, 2008
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Thanks in part to An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore, Americans are ready to go green.  Americans are using fluorescent light bulbs, recycling more, buying organic produce, and using reusable grocery bags.  There is a large and expanding network of people who care about the environment.  Unfortunately, a lot of environmentalists have not yet grasped the impact that eating meat makes on the environment.

Check out this article, Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler, by Mark Bittman from January 27th’s New York Times.  It explains the negative consequences of meat eating on the environment.  Vegetarians have often cited the fact that two to five times the amount of grain is necessary to feed livestock to produce the same number of calories in meat as in direct grain consumption (something to consider when millions of people are hungry).  Bittman also brings to light other positives of a vegetarian diet, including the fact that if Americans cut their meat consumption by just 20%, it would be like everyone trading their cars for a fuel-efficient Prius.  An even more astounding fact is that 30% of the world’s non-ice land is utilized in some way for livestock production.

The connection between modern methods of meat production and environmental destruction is simply too large to ignore.  Can you be a meat-eating environmentalist?  We aren’t convinced you can.  Read the article, consider the information, and make the switch – for you, the environment, and the animals. 

Also, please pass it on to your friends and family.  Even those who may be resistant to vegetarianism/veganism can find inspiration in the author’s call for any reduction in meat consumption.   

[And if you want to go super in-depth into the topic, look at the PDF file of the UN report, Livestock’s Long Shadow, referenced in the NYT article.]

*Special thanks to Nicole for posting the article on her blog.  Check it out for more information about veganism and environmentalism mixed in with her daily adjustments to life in Japan.*

30 Reasons to Stop Eating Meat

January 19, 2008

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) holds a unique position in and out of the animal rights community.  Many outsiders hear the word PETA and instantly dismiss any message associated with it.  Many animal activists openly disassociate themselves from the group for a variety of reasons.  Honestly, we have mixed feelings about the group.  While PETA’s outlandish tactics often distract from their overall message, they are able to draw a ton of media attention to animal cruelty issues.  We disagree with some of their practices, but we agree with the goal.  If it weren’t for PETA, many people interested in vegetarianism or animal rights wouldn’t know where to start.  When we were both (separately) going through our transition to veganism, PETA’s resources were incredibly helpful and informative. 

One thing that can’t be argued is the quality and strength of their materials.  Provided below is a 3 minute video called “Chew On This: 30 Reasons To Go Vegetarian”.  It is powerful.  It is explicit.  It may be difficult to watch.  But if you eat meat, it is important to see what goes on in factory farms.  If you are already vegetarian or vegan, it will reaffirm your decision. 

Ceasing your consumption of meat is the most powerful decision you can make if you truly care about animals.  Your decision will raise eyebrows and people will question your health (often, ironically, as they eat something from a fast food chain).  But by showing that you don’t need to have animals slaughtered and served to you on a platter to live a healthy life, you might cause them to question their beliefs.  When Ryan was in high school, he went on a 3 week trip with a group of students from his hometown.  There was one young woman on the trip who pretty much ate only salads and peanut butter sandwiches the entire time.  Her dedication planted a seed that eventually grew into his decision to go vegetarian at age 24 and vegan at 25.  Thankfully, the meal options of a student on a school trip in 1995 are far from the reality of a vegetarian/vegan diet today.  There are so many delicious options that it is often hard to decide what to eat – a far cry from having to make the limited choice between dead chicken, cow, or pig. 

Ryan hasn’t eaten an animal product in over 5 years.  Jenny has been vegetarian for 12 & 1/2 years, and vegan for almost 9.  Sometimes the attention our food choices draw is annoying.  But then we remember that this attention may plant a seed in someone elses’ mind.  Hopefully one day, one of the many folks that expressed tremendous concern for our protein levels will give vegetarianism a try.  They may find that, like us, they rest a little easier knowing that their subsistence doesn’t rest on the backs, flesh, and bones of animals raised in brutal conditions.               

If you can’t watch the video, much of the info is collected here

If any of this resonates with you, click here to pledge to be vegetarian for 30 days.  goveg.com will send you recipes, ideas, and encouragement while you try it out. 

Click here for a free vegetarian starter guide.      

If you are interested in going vegan, we can’t recommend the book Vegan Freak by Bob and Jenna Torres enough. 

It’s Time to PARTY!

January 5, 2008
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The weekend is here and it is time to party.  Why not let delicious, vegan treats and drinks steal the show by letting party-goers know that party food can be animal-friendly.  Tonight we are having a few friends from the dog park over to hang out.  Nothing fancy – just friends, video games, and animal-friendly snacks and beverages. 

Some of our favorite party recipes include cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World,  Chex Mix with vegetarian worchestershire sauce, fresh fruits and veggies, vegan dips, and of course vegan beverages.  Even the most apprehensive of your friends will melt for the vegan cupcakes.  “Regular Chex Mix isn’t vegan?” a guest might ask.  Nope – the recipe on the box calls for worchestershire sauce, which is usually made with anchovies (yuck).  But not to worry,  the vegetarian bottle in your cabinet tastes exactly the same while being anchovie and cruelty-free.  

When a friend asks what beers you have, offer a selection of delicious vegan beer and wine.  “No Guiness?”, someone asks.  Nope – its made with fish bladders (isinglass), which often end up in the beer. 

As your friends praise the vegan dips, point out that it is cholesterol free and doesn’t have any gross things like pus or scabs from udder infections and irritation.  You have to find the right balance of education (keep it light) and fun (let the delicious food do most of the talking).  It’s a party – not an anti-fur protest – so don’t get too in-your-face about non-vegan food.  Relax and have fun with your friends but make a point to slip in a few informative facts throughout the night, if it comes up.  And if someone asks, have copies of the reicpes or names of specific vegan products to pass along. 

Animal Friendly New Year’s Resolution

December 30, 2007
Skinny Bitch
While we are not big fans of “diets,” many people have weight loss or getting healthy in general as a goal for the new year.  We would like to recommend to you Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin as an animal friendly (ie – no animals harmed in preparation of your meals) plan to achieve these goals.  Give it a read and recommend it to family/friends with this resolution.  You can visit their website for more information on this book and their new cookbook Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.

About author

Hello - we are Jenny and Ryan, a couple living in Brooklyn, New York. We are both busy with school and work but try to take time to do something every day to make the world a better place for animals. Occasionally we may link to outside websites for additional resources, but we do not necessarily endorse all policies of these organizations. Despite the title of our blog, the focus is not only on walruses. So what's with the title? We named this blog after our cat, Wally, aka The Walrus. We are the proud parents of two cats (Wally and Tito) and one dog (Luigi).