A Modern Woman on the Move

in hot pursuit of the great green light…

Archive for the ‘vegan’ Category

“From the oyster to the eagle…”

with 3 comments

A question posed to me on formspring about oysters…

Animal rights activist Peter Singer made an exception for eating oysters. Oysters, he said, could be harvested in an environmentally sustainable way, and because of the lack of a central nervous system, were incapable of suffering. What do you think?

I think it’s fabulously interesting to mull over (that’s the inner biologist in me talking), but I think I will still abstain.

I actually love slate.com and originally read the findings you mention on oysters here: http://www.slate.com/id/2248998/

Peter Singer actually began to make an exception for oysters, but he then retracted it saying, “one cannot with any confidence say that these creatures do feel pain, so one can equally have little confidence in saying that they do not feel pain.”

While I wouldn’t judge a vegan who chose to eat local oysters and agree that it makes more ecological and environmental sense to eat oysters (well, for the record, I am also not in the habit of judging vegetarians or omnivores about their dietary habits either) as opposed to buying Field Roast from Seattle or maybe even Tofurky (more local to me, but still highly packaged), I am not interested in crossing that line. In that same vein, I try to limit my purchases of Field Roast, Tofurky, nonlocal tofu and even produce (I am growing quite a lot in my new and extensive garden). I love Dave’ Killer Bread not just because it’s yummy and healthy, but also because it’s made locally.

We humans are quite amazing animals and we constantly are discovering more and more ways we’re not much more sophisticated and/or intelligent than all other animals, as well as discovering how much more sophisticated and intelligent many animals are compared to what we thought… Because of this, it’s easier for me to just cut out animal products altogether so that I am not worried about the potential unknown, that I unknowingly caused harm to and/or inflicted suffering on another animal. I recently even gave up honey–yes, yes, the horror! I have been vegan for over 6 years and yet I didn’t feel inspired to give up honey until recently. But, there you go, that’s just it. Ideas change, motivations change, I am definitely open to changing my mind when presented with new evidence or other philosophies, which probably contributes to my lack of judging other peoples’ diets.

My personal motivations for being vegan involve minimizing unnecessary harm and suffering of my fellow animals, minimizing damage to the environment/ecosystems from which my food sources come, and minimizing my carbon footprint. So, I am still not interested in eating oysters because I wonder if we can be totally sure the oysters don’t mind. I just rather not run the risk that I have caused another animal harm without realizing it and I am doing quite alright without eating oysters.

Written by lovemotionstory

July 14, 2010 at 8:48 am

A Thanks to Community!

leave a comment »

As a nanny who spent over 3 years working in the Hollywood District (going to the Jazzkat’s Coffee Bar, Hollywood Library, etc. almost every weekday) and a vegan of 6 years (almost as long as I’ve lived in Portland), there are some communities I feel I need to say a big thanks to for their support over the last few weeks. I have been working on this post for 2 weeks, it’s hard to find the right words…

My first thank you goes to the community of the Hollywood District in general, for supporting Whitney Baskins, a barista-turned owner who took the coffee shop she worked for and managed to make it even better. The people of the Hollywood District, especially the librarians, have been so supportive and dedicated to her and it’s amazing to watch. Thank you for showing myself and Whitney something we already suspected: When a small business owner works in their shop, involves the neighborhood, and hosts events supportive of the local culture, the community will enthusiastically be there to support that owner and the business.

My second thank you goes specifically to the healthy eaters of the Hollywood District. Whitney worked hard with Heidi Lovig (who made all the spreads and vegan cheeses on the new menu) to make healthy food options available in Hollywood, and she has received a lot of thanks from the neighbors, residents or workers, for filling that missing option.

My last and biggest thank you goes to my fellow Portland vegan community! When Whitney first asked me for help launching her new menu at Jazzkat’s, I turned to Janessa and Webly for help making sure Heidi’s vegan cheese was up to snuff. They worked with me to plan a private tasting a couple weeks before the menu launching and they each gave honest feedback to Heidi about her vegan spreads and cheeses, as well as some no-nonsense advice on her soon-to-be-launching, vegan cheese company. I was so excited to help my friend Whitney get her new menu off the ground and even more excited to see a woman planning to start a locally made vegan cheese company, because I feel guilty every time I pick up FYH or Daiya, knowing how far it has to travel to hit my shopping basket. It was inspiring to know that Janessa and Webly were just as interested in offering their support. Janessa and Webly are such dedicated and helpful women who really back their ideas and values with their time and consideration. From there, countless Portland vegans have popped into Jazzkat’s to support the new menu that includes us in every way. In just the first week into promoting the new menu and one week before the menu’s actually launch, Whitney told me her sales were up 40%!!! That is amazing. Let no Portland business sell short the vegan demand in Portland.

Thank you, everyone, for supporting my friend and local businesses that invest in their communities. You are all amazing!