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Monday, January 31, 2005

When you decide

The Seven Levels of Veganism
By Greg Lawson -

It is hard to be totally vegan. Many of us fall a little short of that goal. Therefore, I offer this guide for determining just how vegan we are.

Vegan Level One - Doesn't ask if there is chicken stock in the rice, doesn't ask if there is lard in the beans.

Vegan Level Two - Occasionally buys milk chocolate products. Doesn't worry about how the wine they drink is clarified.

Vegan Level Three - Only eats milk chocolate if someone else bought it. Eats doughnuts at work if someone else brought them in. Eats their roommate's ice cream. Also known as a Freegan.

Vegan Level Four - Still wears the old leather and wool products they had before they went vegan, but feels guilty about it.

Vegan Level Five - Stopped using their car because of the animal products in tires, the animal testing of vehicles, the animal products in the pavement.

Vegan Level Five point one - Stopped riding with friends to the movie theater because of the above and the fact that film is processed with animal gelatin.

Vegan Level Six - Has given up all products that involve animals in any way. Hires someone to sweep the path ahead of them as they walk so they don't tread on insects.

Vegan Level Seven - Similar to a Jain. Wears a mask to keep from breathing in small critters. Uses a mild vegan soap that doesn't kill microbes, it just floats them away. Washes their raw organic produce outside with bottled water so that any little beasts will return to the earth rather than going down the sink. Realizes that having someone sweep ahead of them hurts the insects and so doesn't move around much anymore.

(Actually, the above list is just a fanciful fabrication. We shouldn't feel guilty if we have a weakness for an occasional non-vegan chocolate or whatever. Animal ingredients are so pervasive in our society that it is nearly impossible to avoid them all. More important than being a "pure" vegan is to keep compassion for all animals as an important goal and to live our lives so as to be examples for others.)

Greg Lawson is an animal activist, author, radio host and President of The Vegetarian Society of El Paso

Reprint permission granted by Animal Rights Online ( Animal Rights Online is an animal advocacy group that publishes Animal Writes, a free internet newsletter. To subscribe to Animal Writes, email If you forward or reprint Animal Writes in whole or part, please do so unedited, and include this tagline.



Sunday, January 30, 2005

Vegetarian class, vegetarian Swank

Million Dollar Baby may have emerged as this season's start-up pic pick for "Most Unlikely to Succeed" but it has class in more ways than weight, actress Hilary Swank gained 19 pounds for the role... and, she's a vegetarian.

Fight flicks are always a shoo-in but, with a cast that includes heavy weights the like of Morgan Freeman and Director Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby recalls Brando's "I could'a been a contender" and James Earl Jones' "The Great White Hope."

Less a movie about fight than flight this story tells the woman-for-all-seasons' tale of "Maggie" - Hilary Swank - and her last ditch bid for personhood; a final release from the indignity and dissolution of poverty. The twist is that this time redemption relies on an "unforgiven" professional loser - Eastwood - as trainer Frankie Dunn who has the magic but no longer the faith and denies both.

Swank's prepossessing portrayal of Baby has roots in the character which first won her acclaim as Teena in "Boys Don't Cry." Gladly, we'll look forward to much more from this talented actor.



Tuesday, January 11, 2005

No fur, no feathers, no fashion

...what's on you're valentine?

Want to give something special to your valentine this year, why not start with the concept that skin is good. Tell someone you like, that you like the skin they're in and don't give them a gift that hurts.

La Senza takes to the runway for 2005 with a spring lingerie showing just in time for Februarian rites. Check out the show and be sure to ask, is it fur or faux?



Friday, January 07, 2005

::Chase: Twenty something in America::


Nothing more to say, girl has got name: Pat Benetar, Patti Smyth, Christina Amphlett, Janice... the tradition goes on.

We only recently came upon Chrissy "Chase" Stalikas at a club in Tampa, but when we did it stopped us cold. She has one of those voices that sings "street" and invokes rock with the emphasis on hard. Her range, her timing, her hit are unmistakably from the source and people go away wanting more.

Look for Chase to go high fast and keep on long.



Monday, January 03, 2005

Keira Knightley, not a vegetarian...

But she plays one in the movies

There has always been a close relationship between Arthurian Legend and myths that bind Celtic gods and godesses to nature and man. Perhaps what we find so compeling in these stories is that we see something of ourselves in the reflection.

"King Arthur was not an Englishman, but a Celtic warrior according to Roger Loomis, whose special research into the background of the Arthurian legend has revealed findings which are both illuminating and highly controversial. Loomis sees the vegetarian goddess as the prototype of many damsels in Arthurian romance..." Evidence to, that Lancelot chose a vegetarian life.