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What does Chrissie Hynde really do?
October 5, 2008 6:10 AM   Subscribe

Chrissie Hynde: “[A] complete rock star in every sense of the word”? Nope: “I consider myself an animal activist first and my music as more of a hobby that gives me a platform to fight for animals.”

Has anybody in Ohio eaten at her restaurant, Vegiterranean (Flash link)?
posted by joeclark (136 comments total)

 
my music as more of a hobby that gives me a platform to fight for animals

This explains why her music isn't what it used to be, which is a damned shame.
posted by jonmc at 6:28 AM on October 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


say what you want Chrissie, but you are a rock star, especially when singing Brass in Pocket

turns my knees to jelly everytime
posted by jammy at 6:34 AM on October 5, 2008


Yeah, I always avoid learning more about musicians, artists, etc. It can be a drag, especially after you witness them jumping the shark so obviously in things like "Night in My Veins." Now I hope that the "special" which the patron at the restaurant from "Brass in Pocket" orders is a nice, juicy steak.
posted by adipocere at 6:35 AM on October 5, 2008


"You can't call yourself a true environmentalist unless you're vegan."
Hmm, well speaking as a vegan myself, can't say I agree with you here, Chrissie.
posted by Abiezer at 6:36 AM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Artists (famous or otherwise) often have controversial opinions. The strange thing is that journalists and the public have such an appetite for hearing them.

We could talk about Wagner, for instance.
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:49 AM on October 5, 2008


And she donates her "My City was Gone" (Limbaugh bumper music) royalties to PETA.
posted by buzzman at 6:50 AM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Now I hope that the "special" which the patron at the restaurant from "Brass in Pocket" orders is a nice, juicy steak.

Hmm. I see she's got no such objection to product placements from Big Tobacco in her music videos. (See the big Lucky Strike poster at 1.01) Crafty way to beat TV advertising bans *and* hit at that all important youth market via MTV.

Perhaps, instead of sending those royalties to PETA, she'd atone more appropriately by using them for lung cancer and emphysemia research?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:05 AM on October 5, 2008


Buzzman and Peter, I believe this is the ironic song link you're looking for.

That said, I like Chrissie, and Brass in Pocket is one of the defining songs of its era. I don't require musicians I happen to like to agree with me in every possible political, social, religious and other way. Heck, I can have close friends with divergent opinions, so I can certainly handle strangers without being 'disappointed.'

It's music, not idol worship, sheesh.
posted by rokusan at 7:26 AM on October 5, 2008 [7 favorites]


Rock star not perfect? Rock star espouse pet cause but not your particular pet cause? Unpossible??!!?!
posted by Mister_A at 7:26 AM on October 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


A far more talented rock star than Chrissie "Two Song" Hynde-quarters, is Richard X. Heyman, who is also an animal activist, in a way, though minus the self-congratulation.
posted by Faze at 7:28 AM on October 5, 2008


Rock star espouse pet cause

or in this case, the cause of pets.
posted by jonmc at 7:28 AM on October 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


I always thought the only reason the Pretenders got anywhere was because Chrissie Hynde was a chick. I can't figure out their success for any other reason than the novelty of "chick frontman" back in the 80s.
posted by Eideteker at 7:28 AM on October 5, 2008


I also think her and Ted Nugent should duet on "I Got You Babe."
posted by jonmc at 7:28 AM on October 5, 2008


I always thought the only reason the Pretenders got anywhere was because Chrissie Hynde was a chick. I can't figure out their success for any other reason than the novelty of "chick frontman" back in the 80s.

Uh, dude, they started out back in the 70's, and they cranked out a bunch of great songs ("Kid," "Middle Of The Road," "Tattooed Love Boys," "Talk Of The Town.").
posted by jonmc at 7:30 AM on October 5, 2008 [6 favorites]


Don't forget 2000 miles.

Chrissie, you're a weirdo, but that will always be my favorite carol. Merry Chrissiemas!
posted by trip and a half at 7:45 AM on October 5, 2008


Eideteker: "I always thought the only reason the Pretenders got anywhere was because Chrissie Hynde was a chick. I can't figure out their success for any other reason than the novelty of "chick frontman" back in the 80s."

Huh? The Pretenders first album is easily one of the best albums of the late seventies/early eighties. I've been listening to it since it came out and it hasn't aged a bit.

On preview: what jonmc said.
posted by octothorpe at 7:46 AM on October 5, 2008


I was changed forever by James Cromwell's speech in which he said "You can't call yourself a true environmentalist solipsist unless you're vegan."

Yes, I'm overstating the case in the other direction, but the point needed a counterbalance.

In other news, dunno if Calgary's branch of the sort of magnificently focus-grouped Jack FM is alone in this, but they play an old Pretenders song about once an hour like clockwork. I'm convinced it's because they had a sophisticated algorithmic analysis that showed that everyone flipping over from the thousandth iteration of Pink Floyd's "Money" on the classic rock station or the devolution into the tuneless Creed clan on the alt-rock station would be more likely to fall for the bait of "Brass in Pocket" than anything else they could dangle.

Yes, Chrissie Hynde, I'm suggesting that you, however inadvertently, are a cornerstone of the mindless thirtysomething consumerism peddled on Jack FM. And those royalty cheques may eventually weigh on your soul more than my locally raised, grass-fed ribeye weighs on mine.
posted by gompa at 8:06 AM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, wow at the fact that anyone could have missed the brilliance of these two records, and the talent of the woman who wrote them. You're seriously out of touch with what counts as good rock, Eideteker.
posted by mediareport at 8:07 AM on October 5, 2008


I normally love Metafilter, but I'm puzzled by the contempt for animal activism here. Honestly, why the disdain? I don't get it.

When I was 10 or so (I'm mid-forties now), I visited a slaughterhouse, and it changed me in profound ways. It still haunts me, and at times when I think of it, I physically flinch: thirty some years later. I'm not kidding. I'll never think of humanity in the same way again.
posted by belvidere at 8:07 AM on October 5, 2008 [15 favorites]


I always thought they got there in spite of her - always found her disturblingly cold and angry and if she showed a half-way decent human feeling it was Deperate.

But speaking of the 70s, the world don't move to the beat of just one drum and a lot of people did like her - either for chickiness or not.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 8:09 AM on October 5, 2008


I saw Ms. Hynde (accompanied by another guitarist, whose name I do not wish to recall) play a benefit for Save the Rhino in London, a couple months back, and she was by far the best thing on the stage (the MC, in particular, was terrible). Bill Bailey joined her to do a cover of Always on my Mind, which was pretty funny.

This anecdote has no value save to lead into my inept theory that Save the Rhino and organisation like it represent (to my mind) the primacy of conservation of species, and hence to me favour a realist viewpoint; wheras PETA I have always thought of as primarily concerned about the individual animal, and hence are (to my mind) nominalists. That is a pretty rough and ugly comparison with a certain medieval debate but I encourage Umberto Eco to take up the analogy in some future novel.

I therefore suggest we let Zombie Plato and Vampire Aristotle face off again in their perpetual tussel for intellectual supremacy, in the graveyard, at midnight. The winning ghoul shall guide our environmental philosophy henceforth and hence no more brain-energy need be wasted upon minor controversies such as whether to eat or wear the flesh of particular mongeese, or whether some archetypal giraffe strolls about the plane of eternal forms.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 8:14 AM on October 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


I normally love Metafilter, but I'm puzzled by the contempt for animal activism here.

Whoa there, hoss. My contempt is entirely for PETA, which is to the mainstream of environmentalism as the Pentacostal Assemblies of God are to the steadfast Scotch Presbyterians who settled my home and native land.
posted by gompa at 8:15 AM on October 5, 2008 [8 favorites]


Chrissie Hynde was also an early member of early punk legends, The Damned.
posted by cazoo at 8:18 AM on October 5, 2008


To answer a question from a while upthread, several of my friends in NE Ohio have eaten at her restaurant. The metacritic-style consensus review is that it's very good, but maybe a little bit overpriced.

If you're making a side trip to Akron (from Cleveland or Columbus or like that, I mean), the Akron Art Museum is (considering the size and economic profile of the city) pretty good, and be sure to visit some of the local thrift stores, and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
posted by box at 8:21 AM on October 5, 2008


I think The Pretenders worked best on their early albums when they were more of a unified band. Then half of them died from heroin overdoses and it became more Chrissie Hynde and backup musicians. James Honeyman-Scott was a big loss because he and Hynde were a good songwriting team.

Pretenders II has some good songs, too. "Message of Love" and "Talk of the Town" are great, and I like "Pack It Up."

the novelty of 'chick frontman' back in the 80s.

See also Lone Justice, Quarterflash, Katrina and the Waves, Scandal, The Katydids, et al.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:36 AM on October 5, 2008


I'm just surprised that joeclark, Metafilter user #250, joined sometime in 1999, could post this and not expect exactly the thread that ensued.

Although to be honest when I saw the post I actually expected more anger. Usually either PETA or a celebrity endorsement will result in a thread that's abut 75% frothing, and this one hasn't got anywhere near that level.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:37 AM on October 5, 2008


I normally love Metafilter, but I'm puzzled by the contempt for animal activism here. Honestly, why the disdain? I don't get it.
What's wrong with PETA?
posted by MCTDavid at 8:39 AM on October 5, 2008


I always thought they got there in spite of her

She has sole songwriting credit on 26 of the 34 songs on the band's first three records. I think we can safely say The Pretenders didn't "get there in spite of" Chrissie Hynde.
posted by mediareport at 8:41 AM on October 5, 2008 [12 favorites]


Yes, Chrissie Hynde, I'm suggesting that you, however inadvertently, are a cornerstone of the mindless thirtysomething consumerism peddled on Jack FM. And those royalty cheques may eventually weigh on your soul more than my locally raised, grass-fed ribeye weighs on mine.

but only if she gives a fuck about self-righteous hipster anti-popularism
posted by pyramid termite at 8:45 AM on October 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


See also Lone Justice, Quarterflash, Katrina and the Waves, Scandal, The Katydids, et al.

Kirkaracha, thank you for mentioning Lone Justice and Katrina & the Waves, two great bands that never got their due. (Quarterflash were OK. I am unfamiliar with the Katydids.)
posted by jonmc at 8:56 AM on October 5, 2008


The first Pretenders album is about as perfect as a late 70's/early 80's rock album got. And it worked because of Chrissie Hynde's top notch songwriting and because all four members were firing on all cylinders. I love the second and third albums too, but after that, there was mostly cherry picking the albums to find good songs amongst the bland.

It was the Pretenders that got me past any chauvinistic ideas I had as a youngster that rock was exclusively a man's game.

Some artists outside interests interfere with what they do best, but I've always respected how Chrissie Hynde seemed to manage both, even if I didn't always agree the message or organizations she backed.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 8:59 AM on October 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


or whether some archetypal giraffe strolls about the plane of eternal forms.

SCENE: CHEZ LT, breakfast time...

ROOMMATE: "Dude, I need to go to the store. Do you need the car?"

LT: "I'm going on the Giraffe Stroll later."

ROOMMATE: "Giraffe Stroll? Whazzat?"

LT: "A group of us are going out on the Plane Of Eternal Forms to see the Archetypal Giraffes..."

ROOMMATE: "This is your way of saying you want me to pick up munchies at the store, innit?"
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 9:04 AM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


because all four members were firing on all cylinders

Thank you. I love Chrissie's music, but give James Honeyman-Scott, Pete Farndon and Martin Chambers their due. They were a powerhouse band.
posted by jonmc at 9:05 AM on October 5, 2008


She's the only person that truly sells me on it when she lip syncs in videos.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:07 AM on October 5, 2008


Not even seeing that piss-poor excuse for a film Times Square could put me off liking Talk of the Town.

I love all animals but my main focus has always been cows...

I wonder if she realizes how many cows there would be in the world if everyone was a vegan?
posted by mandal at 9:10 AM on October 5, 2008


the Pretenders had more in common musically with Cheap Trick and Tom Petty than Katrina and the Waves, Lone Justice, and Quarterflash.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 9:15 AM on October 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'll agree that giving Chrissie Hynde her due takes nothing away from the incredible work of the rest of that amazing first band. But jesus, the sexism in some folks ignorant assumptions about what such a classic band was about is pretty shocking.
posted by mediareport at 9:18 AM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


@gompa: I wasn't directing my comment on any post in particular but rather to the apparent Metafilter zeitgeist; however, I offer my apologies nonetheless. I don't know how I could have confused criticism of animal activism in general with PETA specifically when your post so clearly expressed your thoughts on the matter.
posted by belvidere at 9:18 AM on October 5, 2008


Years and years ago, I heard a strange anecdote about Chrissie Hynde. Evidently she was scheduled to perform a duet with Eddie Vedder, but abruptly cancelled upon learning that Vedder had once consumed the contents of another man's stomach.

I have no way of knowing if I was being lied to, or if this is in fact a true story...
posted by Tube at 9:20 AM on October 5, 2008


I normally love Metafilter, but I'm puzzled by the contempt for animal activism here. Honestly, why the disdain? I don't get it.

Celebrity activism is downright trite to begin with but activism linked to PeTA is just plain old annoying. PeTA members rank about even with "hardline" sXe dickheads on my annoyance scale. If you really want to help animals join the SPCA, PeTA isn't helping anyone or anything on two legs (or fins) or four.
posted by MikeMc at 9:30 AM on October 5, 2008


Never got into the Pretenders. I just don't like her voice. "What counts as good rock" is ultimately a matter of personal taste, innit?

Funny, regarding the Jack FM comments, I was going to mention the relatively new station in New York, WRXP ("101.9, The Rock Experience"), which does what Jack does (deep album cuts, wider range of styles) a little better but seems to fall back on a Police song about once an hour, I guess because they count as post-punk, New Wave, MOR, and Easy Listening all at the same time. Then I clicked on RXP's website just now and saw that their featured artist today was ... The Pretenders.
posted by stargell at 9:37 AM on October 5, 2008


I won't diss her, ever, because she has been an inspiration to me in some many ways over the years (not just musically). She was the first expatriate I'd ever read about who was loud and proud about leaving the states and being happy elsewhere.

*raises glass*

So, she fell in with the cult of PeTA. I couldn't really give a fuck.
posted by chuckdarwin at 9:44 AM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Never got into the Pretenders. I just don't like her voice. "What counts as good rock" is ultimately a matter of personal taste, innit?

So true, I was just pondering Ms. Hynde's desperate attempt to stay just this side of obscurity whilst cranking "Twilight of the Thunder God". Different strokes for different folks I guess.
posted by MikeMc at 9:55 AM on October 5, 2008


whilst cranking "Twilight of the Thunder God.

That was awesome. There's a guy at the beginning wearing glasses - did you notice?
posted by Kloryne at 10:00 AM on October 5, 2008


my music as more of a hobby that gives me a platform to fight for animals

Shit yeah! I'd pay good money to see Chrissie Hynde take on a full-sized black bear. Duck! Slash! Kick! Punch!

...oh wait. Fight for animals.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 10:04 AM on October 5, 2008


There's a guy at the beginning wearing glasses - did you notice?

No I didn't, but really even Danes on the spring viking needed to see what they were pillaging...
posted by MikeMc at 10:08 AM on October 5, 2008


Pop music is about saying 'fuck me'.
Rock and roll is about saying 'fuck you.'

Chrissie Hynde
posted by Sailormom at 10:26 AM on October 5, 2008 [17 favorites]


lame FPP.
posted by krautland at 10:44 AM on October 5, 2008


George, I have not voiced an opinion on the thread that “ensued” from my posting.
posted by joeclark at 10:47 AM on October 5, 2008


"What counts as good rock" is ultimately a matter of personal taste, innit?

Ugh, this is a tired argument. Yes, you can reduce everything down to individual taste if you don't want to think seriously about art, but the critical discussion as to what constitutes, say, a good film has value, even if individual folks may not find every "classic" film to their particular taste.
posted by mediareport at 11:10 AM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Vedder had once consumed the contents of another man's stomach .

That's just wrong. That other man's vomit should have more self-respect than to allow itself to be put inside Eddie Vedder.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:14 AM on October 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


And The Pretenders? Honestly, ehhh.

She wrote some perfectly good songs, and I'll happily listen to them if they come on JackFM or any other radio station.

But I've never had even the slightest inclination to seek out one of their albums, or thought about them when they weren't presented to me. Not the way Led Zeppelin or The Who or Dylan compel me, not even the way a pop song with a great hook compels me to play it over and over again.

Great art compels. Decent art makes you go, "ehhh, that's kinda nice," then forget about it until it's placed under your nose again.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:18 AM on October 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


Fair enough, drjimmy11, but it's completely subjective, and my opinion is almost the reverse of yours. When the first Pretenders album came out I was originally hooked like everyone else by Brass In Pocket, but listening to the album as a whole practically reshaped my brain. It still affects me like very few other things. Dylan, on the other hand, I'm fairly resistant to mainly because the generation before me practically commanded that I worship him, to which the only reasonable response must inevitably be "Oh, yeah? Bite me." But I agree about The Who.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:46 AM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I never really understood the Pretenders' appeal. Their music is about as limp and watered-down as rock music can get.

Chrissie Hynde looks like a rock-and-roller. I'll give her that.

She should stick to the animal activism, though.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:49 AM on October 5, 2008


My dad's former bass player used to date her back in the day. Everyone called her "Smelly Chrissie" behind her back, or so I'm told. And this would've been the late 70s, maybe even early early 80s. Guess there was no animal-friendly deodorant back then.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 11:54 AM on October 5, 2008


I normally love Metafilter, but I'm puzzled by the contempt for animal activism here.

It's the hatred of PETA and they're insane ways.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:58 AM on October 5, 2008


Did that man go on to become Dean of Springfield University, bitter-girl.com?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:00 PM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


lame FPP.

Yeah, but it got me watching this great live TV clip of Hynde's song "Louie Louie" from 1981, so it can't be all bad. The last half is a near-perfect example of that weird intersection of punk, new wave and traditional rock they did so well. It's hard to over-estimate the power and influence of her super-competent, casually sexy fronting of such a great band.
posted by mediareport at 12:02 PM on October 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


Ugh, this is a tired argument. Yes, you can reduce everything down to individual taste if you don't want to think seriously about art

You shouldn't have to think seriously about rock and roll, that's kind of the point. You know, loud, fun, obnoxious etc... It is totally subjective and critics in general suck. I mean come on, Vampire Weekend, really?
posted by MikeMc at 12:10 PM on October 5, 2008


People Eat Tasty Animals.
posted by buzzman at 12:25 PM on October 5, 2008


Huh, didn't Chrissie Hynde say on one of those VH1 clip shows that she didn't like "Brass in Pocket" and almost didn't include it on the album and doesn't particularly enjoy playing it?
posted by The Whelk at 12:31 PM on October 5, 2008


There still aren't nearly enough women who rock as hard as she did on Middle of the Road...jesus I love that song. There's a straight line from her to Aimee Mann, too; Mann's a superior songwriter, but Hynde is more fun. We need more rockin' ladies, is what I'm saying.

And hell, while I wouldn't go near the Nooge, I'll still listen to Cat Scratch Fever. Michael Jackson's early songs remain awesome, even though he is hardly a recognizable human being anymore. I mean, as odd/possibly objectionable lifestyle choices go, Hynde is way on the mild end of any spectrum.
posted by emjaybee at 12:36 PM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


So it's another "your favorite band sucks" post combined with the tedious griping about PETA post? Even the "People Eat Tasty Animals" gorkism? Cool.
posted by pracowity at 12:38 PM on October 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Not that I'm aware of, Sys Rq. I think he's still doing music stuff, like my dad. He is, if I remember correctly, the one who kept giving my dad all kinds of cool stuff from his music store job, which is why I have all kinds of vinyl singles and t-shirts from bands that are still considered awesome today. And I think it's probably his fault I ended up with a copy of "The Tide is High," which got played incessantly until my mom took the record player away for a while...

It's funny. My dad's played with all kinds of big deal musicians over the years -- I'm on his case to write a bio of a recently-deceased blues legend he played with -- but they were just "oh, dad's friends" to me. The early 80s was an especially cool time to live in Cleveland if you were a musician. The Cramps, Devo, Pere Ubu, you name it... and a little later on, one young Trent Reznor, who my dad remembers for working at the now-closed downtown Record Revolution. (Reznor, in a everywhere-else-it's-6-degrees-here-it's-three-or-less moment, used to date my one assistant, and -- quoting my friend I was talking to at the time -- totally stared at my butt at a show once. Yes, it's spectacular, but sheesh, Reznor...)

Also, you can blame my super-loud voice on stuff like getting dragged to band practice instead of being left with a babysitter. Thanks, Dad!

Back to Chrissie Hynde, though -- PETA aside, you have to admit the early albums are supremely kickass. And no one else on earth can wear that much eyeliner without looking like Robert Smith. She's good like that.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 12:42 PM on October 5, 2008


"gorkism" ? WTF is a "gorkism"? Urban Dictionary doesn't even have that one. BTW, your favorite band sucks!
posted by MikeMc at 12:44 PM on October 5, 2008


You know what I consider more annoying than PETA? Dissecting animals while they're alive. And some of the more extremely fucked up methods of animal testing. (Particularly when alternative methods haven't been exhausted.)

So, I have to give them props. They did and still sometimes do some campaigns that aren't my style, but I see them experimenting with all kinds of different communication strategies to reach the people who make the relevant decisions. A few of those communication methods really turned me off, but I have to respect their commitment to issues (some of which I completely agree with) and the improvements they've made in the sophistication of their communications strategy.

They've successfully worked with McDonalds for incremental improvements toward more humane animal treatment and slaughter, which makes me think they've come a long way from the more with-us-or-against-us approaches of the past.
posted by salvia at 1:31 PM on October 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


Likes: Iron Maiden, Gang of Four, Journey, Midnight Oil, Oasis, Chicago, Motorhead, Neil Young, Joy Division

Does not like: The Police, Genesis, the Cure, John Mellencamp, the Rolling Stones, Arcade Fire, Eric Clapton

Theories: none
posted by stargell at 1:32 PM on October 5, 2008


> hatred of PETA and their insane ways

Hmm, I'd expect more than "insane, amirite?" I mean, their whole point is to say "wow, all of society drinks cows' milk. Why do we do that - instead of drinking human milk?" If you're saying it's insane because of course everyone drink cows' milk instead of human milk, then that's not much of a rational, thoughtful response. I think the animal liberation argument would be that back in the day, people thought slavery was normal and racial equality insane.
posted by salvia at 1:39 PM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow - didn't know animal rights was so unpopular around here. Well I guess I can't really blame y'all; PETA is an easy punching bag. Also, no amount of statistics or damning figures will make it easy to accept an ideology that involves rejecting the kind of tasty food one has grown to like. In the end the stomach is mightier than the brain :/

As for me, I forgive PETA their excesses because I admire their dedication in the face of a world full of hostile carnivores - they fight a thankless fight for those who cannot speak for themselves. Maybe they fall off the deep end sometimes, but at least they're trying.

On an unrelated note, I feel quite uncultured - I don't think I've ever heard a song by the Pretenders! I-tunes store, here I come.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 1:40 PM on October 5, 2008 [6 favorites]


...Calgary's branch of the sort of magnificently focus-grouped Jack FM is alone in this...

FYI.
There are 30+ "Jack FM" stations in N. America. They all play the same thing at the same time via sat. feed.
posted by shockingbluamp at 1:45 PM on October 5, 2008


As for me, I forgive PETA their excesses because I admire their dedication in the face of a world full of hostile carnivores

They just drive me more towards the Maddox end of the spectrum.

I don't think I've ever heard a song by the Pretenders! I-tunes store, here I come.
You've probably heard "Brass in Pocket" without realizing who it was.
posted by MikeMc at 1:53 PM on October 5, 2008


I say this as a vegetarian, animal rights activist, and biological engineer:

PETA often says things that are factually inaccurate. Just completely false. They also use poorly constructed and sensational arguments to get their points across. They often make me cringe. In fact, it reminds me of the time Jon Stewart congratulated MoveOn.org on "10 years of making even people who agree with you cringe." (source)

I'm heartened to see that several people here have managed not to confuse PETA with animal rights as a whole.

But like Salvor Hardin, sometimes I just can't blame 'em for trying.
posted by Cygnet at 1:55 PM on October 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


I think the animal liberation argument would be that back in the day, people thought slavery was normal and racial equality insane.

Therein lies the fallacy of the animal liberation argument. Animals are not people. This is not to say that animals should be treated cruelly but to equate animal husbandry with human slavery is to have lost the argument before it has even begun.
posted by MikeMc at 2:04 PM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


but to equate animal husbandry with human slavery is to have lost the argument before it has even begun

But to equate "equate" and "analogise" is to have lost the argument before it has even begun.

That's a snarky way of pointing out that it is possible to validly compare animal suffering to human suffering without equating the two.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 2:22 PM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Therein lies the fallacy of the animal liberation argument. Animals are not people. This is not to say that animals should be treated cruelly but to equate animal husbandry with human slavery is to have lost the argument before it has even begun.

it's not an equation, it's an analogy. you should at least understand the argument before trying to critique it.
posted by jammy at 2:25 PM on October 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


oops - Salvor Hardin, I owe you a beer. :)
posted by jammy at 2:25 PM on October 5, 2008


Pop music is about saying 'fuck me'.
Rock and roll is about saying 'fuck you.'
Chrissie Hynde


My understanding of this quote is that it was more directed at women who were flaunting sex on stage as their primary selling point-- that she said something like "This is rock and roll, it isn't 'fuck me', it's 'fuck you'".

And speaking as somebody who loved The Pretenders back in the day, and who looked up to Chrissie Hynde, and who immediately recognized that the visual identity of the character of Molly Millions in Gibson's Neuromancer is drawn from her iconic image on the cover of the first album, it was not Brass in Pocket that won her fans; it was "Precious", a song that everybody I knew misheard the chorus of, tellingly, as "But not me baby, I'm too precious. FUCK OFF." It still gives me a thrill, actually. Back in 1980 it felt revolutionary-- no [white] woman had ever before held an electric guitar and "played it like a man" and spat venom out at the mainstream in such a way. It was easy to forgive the masochism in Tattooed Love Boys after hearing such extraordinary telegrams from female experience as "I bathed my face in the sweat that ran down his chest/It was all very... run of the mill".

I'm glad she's still around. The PETA stuff I kind of ignore, because I have, like many people here, problems with the organization and its ideologies.
posted by jokeefe at 2:28 PM on October 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


You shouldn't have to think seriously about rock and roll, that's kind of the point.

Oh please. No one said anything about "having" to think seriously about rock and roll. Can the anti-intellectual crap, please. But there's definitely more to be said about the stuff than "it's totally subjective," and talking about what makes some of it sound better than the rest is, you know, fun for some of us. Rock on.
posted by mediareport at 2:56 PM on October 5, 2008


That's a snarky way of pointing out that it is possible to validly compare animal suffering to human suffering without equating the two.

it's not an equation, it's an analogy. you should at least understand the argument before trying to critique it.


If only that were true.

"Animal liberationists do not separate out the human animal, so there is no rational basis for saying that a human being has special rights. A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. They are all mammals ."


— Ingrid Newkirk, President, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

I think the quote speaks for itself.
posted by MikeMc at 3:00 PM on October 5, 2008


They are all mammals.

We're pretty fond of our own kind, of course, but taking care of our human brothers doesn't mean we should neglect our mammal cousins.

The anti-vegetarian/vegan argument seems to consist of nothing so much as "we like eating meat; therefore we don't care that it means killing mammals".

I guess what's tasty wins the day.
posted by Lleyam at 3:07 PM on October 5, 2008


but to equate animal husbandry with human slavery is to have lost the argument before it has even begun.

The point of the comparison was that there are things that society generally accepts as the natural order and later comes to regard quite differently. Calling a group crazy when they question certain practices, just because those practices are quite mainstream (if that was Brandon Blatcher's thinking, which it might not be), ignores the possibility that mainstream ethics are not yet perfect.
posted by salvia at 3:17 PM on October 5, 2008


As for me, I forgive PETA their excesses because I admire their dedication in the face of a world full of hostile carnivores

I'm genuinely curious here: did you deliberately use the term "carnivore" here, or are you just being imprecise? Because most people are not carnivores, they're omnivores. I'm not even sure if it's possible for a human to be a carnivore without dying of malnutrition. I ask because it's not the first time I've seen the term set in opposition to vegetarian/vegan.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 3:17 PM on October 5, 2008


So, MikeMc, what is your basis for distinguishing between the physical suffering of a person and another advanced mammal?
posted by salvia at 3:19 PM on October 5, 2008


Also, no amount of statistics or damning figures will make it easy to accept an ideology that involves rejecting the kind of tasty food one has grown to like. In the end the stomach is mightier than the brain. As for me, I forgive PETA their excesses because I admire their dedication in the face of a world full of hostile carnivores

It's not just carnivores omnivores who hate them. I've been vegetarian for almost 20 years and I think PeTA are a bunch of fucking morons.

Are you aware that MaryBeth Sweetland, one time Senior VP of PeTA has no issue with using animal products when they help her? Twice a day she takes insulin, which contain animal products and are tested on animals, because she is a diabetic. This is after condemning the use of such medications for, well, everyone else. She says this is not hypocritical because she needs to keep on living in order to fight for the animals.

The President and founder of PeTA has also admitted using painkillers, that were tested on animals, when she broke her wrist.

Are you aware that PeTA has euthanized thousands of animals that they were supposed to shelter? Their excuse? They couldn't afford to house them as they needed the money to run more of their idiotic advertisements.

As someone who goes out of his way to not kill anything over the course of a day (I don't even swat mosquitos or wasps that land on me), I believe PeTA employees are terrorist hypocrites and should be locked up.
posted by Manhasset at 3:31 PM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Lentrohamsanin: I was deliberately being imprecise - you caught me :) of course omnivore is more precise, but I used carnivore to emphasize my point. BTW by most definitions I've seen "carnivore" really refers to an organism which eats animals, not necessarily one that exclusively eats animals. But it's a fine point, and I'm happy with retreating to the use of the word "omnivore" if "carnivore" seems inaccurate to folks.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 3:35 PM on October 5, 2008


veggies are best wrapped in bacon.
posted by shockingbluamp at 3:43 PM on October 5, 2008


Also,

Manhasset: Freudian strike tagging? :) I'm just teasing.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 3:46 PM on October 5, 2008


Are you aware that PeTA has euthanized thousands of animals that they were supposed to shelter? Their excuse? They couldn't afford to house them as they needed the money to run more of their idiotic advertisements.

Yup. And this is why I happily support my local no-kill shelter and other animal welfare organizations, but think PETA's off their fucking gourd. They love to spout off about things they know NOTHING about. My particular problem with them right now is that they've got all these city knitters freaking out about a procedure that is used to prevent flystrike, a disease in which maggots essentially eat away the animal's anus. AWESOME. I'm sure I'd *much* rather have my anus eaten by maggots than have a small piece of skin clipped when I'm a few months old. Sign me up for that, PETA.

Let's not even get into the PETA supporters who think we shouldn't be allowed to have companion animals. My cat Spike, who was rescued from a box he'd been locked in (in an apartment building basement, with his brother) at the age of 2 weeks and our born-feral cat Giles would disagree with their position most thoroughly. After they finish their plate of tuna yummies, that is.

I don't buy animal-tested products, I love tofu, I'd happily give up meat tomorrow if I had to (the cheese they'll have to pry from my cold, dead hands), but PETA's tactics sure don't help.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 4:04 PM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


...Calgary's branch of the sort of magnificently focus-grouped Jack FM is alone in this...

FYI.
There are 30+ "Jack FM" stations in N. America. They all play the same thing at the same time via sat. feed.


This information is wrong.

There is a satellite feed for the smaller Jack stations, but the larger North American Jack Stations (like, say, Calgary) have their own programmers. Granted, these programmers are limited to the same carefully chosen list of songs, but they don't all play the same thing at the same time.

From wikipedia: On July 5, 2005, it was announced that Bohn & Associates Media and Wall Media formed SparkNet Communications L.P. as the exclusive International licensor and owner of the Jack-FM format. SparkNet has, in turn, licensed the format to Dial Global for satellite-based syndication to stations in U.S. markets outside the 40 largest. This satellite-fed Jack became active in October 2005, and now serves many of the smaller Jack stations, such as Evansville and Knoxville.

More on how Jack works here: The rules guiding a Jack-formatted station are simple: Unlike a typical radio station, which regularly plays 300 or 400 hits of a particular genre, programmers on Jack stations select 700 to 1,000 songs of completely different genres. Then, they sequence them to create what radio programmers call "train wrecks" -- Billy Idol will follow Bob Marley, Elvis after Guns N' Roses, and so on. And Jack stations often (but not always) use a smart-alecky recorded voice, rather than a live DJ, to make short quips between songs.

Also, Jack FM tests their playlists on HUMAN ANIMALS. Someone call PETA!
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 4:10 PM on October 5, 2008


The point of the comparison was that there are things that society generally accepts as the natural order and later comes to regard quite differently.

I understand that, I just don't think that's the angle being played here. Now, that's not to say that all animal rights types are so literal but I believe Ingrid Newkirik, and by extension PeTA, see these things as absolutely the same. The woman compared the fate of broiler chickens to Jewish victims of the Holocaust for crying out loud. Listen, I'm not in favor of cruelty in any form but the discussion in this thread is centered on PeTA and frankly if Ms. Newkirk is in any way representative of the PeTA rank and file (and one would think so) then these folks are coming off as just plain old whack jobs.
posted by MikeMc at 4:11 PM on October 5, 2008


Manhasset, do you mean that in order for you to take MaryBeth Sweetland seriously, she must literally die for her cause?

Have you ever worn an article of clothing produced in a sweatshop? If so, does that mean that nobody should take you seriously if you say that forced child labor is a bad thing?
posted by Cygnet at 4:16 PM on October 5, 2008


I'm a vegetarian, and I have a question for the meat-eaters who might be participating in this thread: why is it that every time there's a Mefi post having anything to do with vegetarianism, multiple commenters post comments just to say some variation on "bacon!!!" or "steak!!!"? Is there a point to this? Do they think that this offends the vegetarians who might be reading, or what?
posted by Jaltcoh at 4:17 PM on October 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


I think the quote speaks for itself.
That it happens to be a confronting or disturbing idea does not render the observation any less true. We can eat other animals, keep them as pets, do experiments on them, risk our lives and livelihoods to preserve theirs, study them, and so on. This is a simple fact: we have greater power over what happens on Earth than any other animal species. We could be smugly self-congratulatory about the fact of the power differential, and convince ourselves that of course we are entitled to special rights, because we are inherently better than any other animal because "a god made us", or other similar self-serving bullshit. (Although examples of religions that place humanity in a custodial position do exist.)

Or we could bemoan the fact of the power differential, and complain that we shouldn't have any special rights, because we don't deserve them, because all animals should be equal. Which is PETA's position, basically. It's stupid because it's anti-pragmatic and self-defeating. It's analogous to exhorting the rich to take up communism, only more so, because almost all humans exercise power over animals.

Animal rights activism doesn't really need PETA. Historically, two entities have achieved legal protection for animals: SPCAs, whose arguments are against cruelty to animals rather than use of animals, an important distinction; and groups like the Animal Liberation Front and Sea Shepherd and the like, who have and will actively harm the commercial and personal interests of animal abusers, rather than running silly advertising campaigns. Both of these entities are taken seriously: the SPCAs are generally respected; the 'eco-terrorists' are feared. PETA has neither.

Also, it shouldn't be discounted that it is oh-so-fashionable on the internet to mock PETA, and any giggling goon who posts the cliched crack "people eating tasty animals" assures himself, if no-one else, of lulz.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:20 PM on October 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Manhasset, do you mean that in order for you to take MaryBeth Sweetland seriously, she must literally die for her cause?

Cygnet, if I'm reading Manhasset right, it's not that you have to die for the cause, it's that you shouldn't be a hypocrite. Reread this portion of the comment:

...she is a diabetic. This is after condemning the use of such medications for, well, everyone else. She says this is not hypocritical because she needs to keep on living in order to fight for the animals.

Ok, so you're such a special snowflake that you win the get-out-of-hypocrite-jail-free card, Sweetland? And no one else is as special as you? That's the problem, Cygnet. Thinking your cause trumps every other cause there is and you get special logical exemptions for it. I would have a hell of a lot more respect for someone who said "Yes, it's true I take medications that contain animal products, because without them I would die. However, I am working with scientists to develop animal-free alternatives for myself and others who'd like to have them." That I could support.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 4:25 PM on October 5, 2008


How dare ye deign the Hynde?!

You may be all smug in your "oh she's jumped the shark" attitude, and may be as vegan as a crazy loon, but you piss her off and I bet she'll get all rock-star on you... give you one of her bad-ass looks, bite your fucking head off and shit down your whimpy throat.

Don't fuck with the Chrissie.
posted by matty at 4:27 PM on October 5, 2008


bitter-girl.com, I agree that

"Yes, it's true I take medications that contain animal products, because without them I would die. However, I am working with scientists to develop animal-free alternatives for myself and others who'd like to have them."

... would be MUCH more respectable. No arguments there. Especially as a scientist who's very interested in doing just that.

I guess I just don't think that being hypocritical and unpleasant and thinking she's somehow exempt makes her wrong.
posted by Cygnet at 4:32 PM on October 5, 2008


in order for you to take MaryBeth Sweetland seriously, she must literally die for her cause?

Well, there's hardcore and there's hardcore.
posted by MikeMc at 4:35 PM on October 5, 2008


Wrong and hypocritical aren't the same thing, Cygnet. I don't think anyone would say "no! you can't develop animal-free insulin! that's crazy!" -- at least no one outside the insulin-pig-breeding industry, that is. So she's not wrong, but she is hypocritical, at least to the standards of her own organization, and that diminishes credibility no matter what's at issue. If you can't adhere to the standards your organization is trying to push on everyone else, then what? It's like Republicans who go on and on about teenage pregnancy and then don't say a word when their kid gets knocked up.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 4:41 PM on October 5, 2008


Oops. Thought I closed that strike tag. Heh. Shoulda just been carnivores that was struck out.

I dunno. I kind of thought reducing a couple of paragraphs to "It's not just" had a real poetry to it. Seems a lot of overwrought rhetoric could be legitimately responded to by simply replying, "It is not just."
posted by stet at 4:44 PM on October 5, 2008


Manhasset, do you mean that in order for you to take MaryBeth Sweetland seriously, she must literally die for her cause?

I'm not the one saying she should die for her cause. SHE'S the one saying people should die (except her) instead of using animal products or products tested on animals. PeTA is against medications being tested on animals or containing animal products. They're against the use of animals by humans in pretty much any way you can think of.

If Gandhi beat his wife while preaching non-violence, no one would have paid much attention to him. Same goes for MaryBeth: why should anyone take her seriously when she condemns animal testing when she daily partakes of the benefits of such testing.

So, no, I don't think she should die for her cause. I think she should shut the fuck up and stop being a hypocrite.

Have you ever worn an article of clothing produced in a sweatshop? If so, does that mean that nobody should take you seriously if you say that forced child labor is a bad thing?

If I make my living, off the donations of people I'm conning, by preaching about child labour, than yes, I think that no one should take me seriously if I do so wearing Nikes or other products that are the result of child labour.
posted by Manhasset at 4:45 PM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


..."why is it that every time there's a Mefi post having anything to do with vegetarianism, multiple commenters post comments just to say some variation on "bacon!!!" or "steak!!!"? Is there a point to this? Do they think that this offends the vegetarians who might be reading, or what?"


I sure HOPE so! What if I were to get offended by people who dig up and munch a perfectly innocent plant...a plant that has every RIGHT to live...just because they can?
A banana is a tree is a rat is a dog...
posted by shockingbluamp at 4:52 PM on October 5, 2008


David Foster Wallace's essay "Consider the Lobster" [.pdf of original appearance in Gourmet magazine] is a perfect piece for examining lots of the issues being argued about here, including PETA, animal pain and tastiness. The section starting "Before we go any further..." on the fifth page of the article (p. 62 in the magazine) is where it starts getting real good.
posted by mediareport at 5:42 PM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Having listened to your music, I would have to concur. Your music sounds, just as you contend, like you are a hobbyist. Wouldnt know about your animal rights activism, so I will take your word that you are a real pro.
posted by jcworth at 7:11 PM on October 5, 2008


Ergh. As someone who tries to eat meat sparingly, because I cannot personally justify eating it but come from a really meat-heavy culture, it irritates me- on behalf of omnivores- to go into one of these threads just KNOWING that someone is going to do the HURF DURF BACON joke.
They get it, you know? Vegetarians and vegans are AWARE that people eat meat. It's not like they're unduly squicked out by it, given that, I don't know, you can't walk ten feet without seeing a burger on a billboard. If all you want to do in this thread is to brag that you eat meat, maybe try just saying that out loud and not posting.
posted by 235w103 at 7:18 PM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


it irritates me- on behalf of omnivores- to go into one of these threads just KNOWING that someone is going to do the HURF DURF BACON joke.

I think that's a result of Fark overlap, bacon is official meat product of Fark.
posted by MikeMc at 7:27 PM on October 5, 2008


Ignore the stupid rock star. Read Peter Singer if you're curious about animal rights.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:28 PM on October 5, 2008


I've long wondered about sentient vegetables, and trees in particular. A (previously) live Christmas tree has long struck me as a decapitated tree. Yuck. As in disgusting. "Oh, look at the lovely tree we killed to gather around and celebrate the birth of Christ". For me, it seems to have lost the winter wonder land luster several dozen years ago. Few of us are living in traditional Northern Europe, and the early 21st century is long removed from when the tree was an icon of seasonal gathering.

PETA is so (cough) rabid about its causes that it repulses more than it attracts. They crossed a line and jumped so far to one side that they no longer realize the practical usage of animals in todays world. Is it even possible to do a days work of labour on vegetables? Is Phelps a bad, bad man because he eats 12,000 calories a day? Could he have done so well in the Olympics on a pure veggie diet..

What's next? Sapping a tree for syrup is akin to bleeding an animal? Sap is the flowing blood of a tree. OMG you are torturing that tree just for sweet stuff on your biscuit!!!

Hynde is flat out awesome. Ran through the youtube gamut of vids a week or so ago. Progressive to have even made the vids at the time, and for not having cable it was icing on the cake to be able to see just how expansive they made her work.
posted by buzzman at 7:56 PM on October 5, 2008


A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. They are all mammals .

All right! Fuck the reptiles! Snakeburgers and Crow McNuggets!

Chrissy Hynde, OTOH, sounds like a cow hoofed her in the nose, so I can only applaud her lack of vengeful retribution upon the ruminant population.
posted by Sparx at 3:16 AM on October 6, 2008


10 million Jains can't be wrong!
Jains refuse food obtained with unnecessary cruelty. Many practice a lifestyle similar to veganism, due to the violence of modern dairy farms, and others exclude root vegetables from their diets to preserve the lives of these plants.
posted by asok at 4:05 AM on October 6, 2008


Therein lies the fallacy of the animal liberation argument.

I think the quote speaks for itself.

a single quote from PETA does not equal "the animal liberation argument"
posted by jammy at 4:38 AM on October 6, 2008


I guess what's tasty wins the day.

That it does, sir. But there has be a fucking limit, doesn't there? People weren't meant to eat meat EVERY MEAL. There isn't enough planet to sustain that sort of diet for 6 billion stomachs, and there never will be.

This idea of having enough beef for every glutton is really fucking everything up.
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:39 AM on October 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


Hi chuckdarwin. I'm one of the hated vegetarians, so I hear ya ;)
posted by Lleyam at 5:47 AM on October 6, 2008


I don't envy you. I'm not sure that telling metafilter what I eat or don't eat is a good idea at this juncture. I'll call my solicitor and get back to you.
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:43 AM on October 6, 2008


so my friend came by with her 20-year-old daughter a few weeks ago. daughter had on black jeans, white t-shirt w/the impression of some punk band or another, and lots of black mascara. her straight, dark hair was hanging in her eyes. 'you look just like chrissie hynde!' says i. 'who's that?' she shot back, suspicious that perhaps i was insulting her.

i was very sad. everyone should know who chrissie hynde is.
posted by msconduct at 8:30 AM on October 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


People weren't meant to eat meat EVERY MEAL. There isn't enough planet to sustain that sort of diet for 6 billion stomachs, and there never will be.

This is a good point and one that people would probably be more willing to listen to.

Personally, I'm not giving up meat, no way, but I do love vegetables and I'm open to the idea of cutting down on meat, to an extent. But you never hear much about how to do that.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:12 AM on October 6, 2008


...I'm open to the idea of cutting down on meat, to an extent. But you never hear much about how to do that.

Seriously? You do it by eating less meat and more whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. There is nothing more to it, and if you do, you'll feel better too.
posted by belvidere at 11:27 AM on October 6, 2008


Yeah, seriously. How do you eat less meat? How do you completely revamp your diet and replace the many physical and emotional needs/wants that are met by your current, however bad it is?

Seriously, if you place smaller portions of food on someone's plate, they're going to want to hurt you because it seems as though you're denying them food. For the majority of people they are not going to feel better short term, so how do you get them to continue with the the change of habits and lifestyle? It's not that easy for many people.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:05 PM on October 6, 2008


A few great facts about Chrissie.: She moved from Ohio to London to write for NME, the coolest music magazine of the time. She worked at the clothing store of Malcom McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, the reigning king and queen of punk. She is the mother of Ray Davies daughter as well as Jim Kerr's daughter. Stop Your Sobbing is one of the greatest covers of all time! Tatooed Love Boys -- I'd never heard a woman be so able to play with the boys like the boys and still be sexy -- "I shot my mouth off and he showed me what that hole was for" -- a lyric like that from a woman at that time was unprecedented.
posted by thinkpiece at 1:56 PM on October 6, 2008


Brandon, there are a ton of good books about vegetarianism that include specific recommendations for folks who want to start slowly by eating less meat. Generally, I think the first step is to replace pig and cow with poultry and fish. That's very, very easy to do without massive internal struggling with your "emotional needs/wants." I'm not an expert, except for eating and cooking mostly vegetarian for the last 20 years, but one fairly well-known book is The Gradual Vegetarian: The Step-by-Step Way to Start Eating the Right Stuff Today. Check the reviews and the "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought..." recommendations for more.

It's really easy and fun to explore turning hearty vegetarian side dishes into meals; any good vegetarian cookbook will offer you tons of great-tasting places to start. Once you get over the bizarre psychological hurdle that a meal's not complete without meat, you'll quickly find yourself feeling full after a meal of tasty non-meat dishes. Calling them "emotional needs" really exaggerates the case; they're just habits of thought that can be trained out of you. Luckily, the rewards are delicious, so the trainings are pretty much the opposite of a chore.
posted by mediareport at 1:58 PM on October 6, 2008


It's really easy and fun to explore turning hearty vegetarian side dishes into meals; any good vegetarian cookbook will offer you tons of great-tasting places to start. Once you get over the bizarre psychological hurdle that a meal's not complete without meat, you'll quickly find yourself feeling full after a meal of tasty non-meat dishes. Calling them "emotional needs" really exaggerates the case

mediareport,

Calling them emotional needs isn't exaggerating the case at all. Food and eating meals is a life long social ritual, filled with many customs and traditions. Changing that, if when it's for the best can be difficult for people. I live in the American South and for many natives, the idea of cutting back or changing the atrocious (but oh so delicious) Southern diet is just unfathomable, because food is so closely intertwined with family and friends. Many people do not find it "fun to explore turning hearty vegetarian side dishes into meals." They consider it work with an unsatisfying result.

I think if these things concerns were acknowledged a bit more and addressed, getting people to eat less meat would be a less contentious issue for some.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:05 PM on October 6, 2008


They *have* been acknowledged and addressed, Brandon. That's the point of recommending those books to you. They've been acknowledged and addressed many, many, many times. You're not alone, and you wouldn't be the first person to gradually-but-smoothly transition from a meat-heavy diet to a happy, relatively meat-free diet. It happens all the time.

But one of the first steps is recognizing what is truly "unfathomable" and what's not. Significantly reducing the amount of meat in your diet - even in the South, where I've lived for my last mostly vegetarian 20 years - is definitely not "unfathomable." Maybe for you the first step would be to take the dramatics down a notch, and recognize to yourself that it is indeed possible to almost totally eliminate meat from your diet and get to a point where you don't miss it socially, psychologically or emotionally. Worked for me, although my accommodation includes the recognition that I'm going to occasionally sample some delicious meaty treat without beating myself up about it. Who knows what kind of accommodation you'll come to.

But you won't know until you try, and there are plenty of resources that understand and deal with your objections in a friendly "yeah, we know, we've been there" kind of way.
posted by mediareport at 3:36 PM on October 6, 2008


BB, I just replaced the meat in my recipes with 'fake meat' TVP and learnt to cook it properly. I eat a lot of seafood and free range fowl/eggs. It's no chore, my diet... just get good ingredients and eat less, more ethically-raised meat. Cook more.
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:04 PM on October 6, 2008


I'm open to the idea of cutting down on meat, to an extent. But you never hear much about how to do that.

TA-DA!!!

(via Almost Vegetarian)


Seriously, if you place smaller portions of food on someone's plate, they're going to want to hurt you because it seems as though you're denying them food. For the majority of people they are not going to feel better short term, so how do you get them to continue with the the change of habits and lifestyle? It's not that easy for many people.

Well, see, that's the problem: you equate vegetarianism with taking away stuff from the plate. Even if you don't literally mean they're the same thing, that's still your association.

Maybe you're a victim of the "three-part dinner." Read this: "My number one, absolutely indispensable, surefire method to help you go vegetarian."
posted by Jaltcoh at 5:31 PM on October 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


1. Fried okra.
2. My ...southern boyfriend claims that everything I have made from this [vegetarian cookbook] captures the true essence of southern cooking.
posted by salvia at 8:48 PM on October 6, 2008


Chrissie will be on Late Show w/ David Letterman on Monday.
posted by shockingbluamp at 10:09 PM on October 6, 2008


Kirkaracha, thank you for mentioning Lone Justice and Katrina & the Waves, two great bands that never got their due.

Katrina & the Waves? A top ten hit in the US, UK and Australia back in the 1980s when that meant serious sales, and winners of a contest watched by 100 million people worldwide in the 1990s? That's a lot of due.
posted by rory at 5:37 AM on October 7, 2008


Hey ya'll.

Thank you, but I personally do not need or want your cooking/switching advice and tips, however helpful they may are.

I was speaking of other people, whom I've had nutrition classes with and *their* reactions to the proposals of becoming vegetarian when advised to do so by a nutritionist. These were older folks, usually over 50 and pretty set in their ways and switching to all vegetables just wasn't going to happen.

There was some success with healthier eating, but eating less meat was a "not gonna happen"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:38 AM on October 7, 2008


I was speaking of other people

Oh, ok. Send them our way and we'll be glad to encourage them to stop over-dramatizing the difficulty of the switch, too.
posted by mediareport at 5:28 PM on October 7, 2008


They’re going to want to hurt you? You’re warning us of physical violence?
posted by joeclark at 8:19 PM on October 7, 2008


we'll be glad to encourage them to stop over-dramatizing the difficulty of the switch, too.

Much like the nutritionist teaching the class, who had the same attitude, you're not going to get far.

They’re going to want to hurt you? You’re warning us of physical violence?

Literally? No, they're not going to physically harm you, they're going to want to, as you'll be perceived as messing with their life.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:50 PM on October 7, 2008


you're not going to get far.

Guess it's impossible then, eh? No one's ever gonna make the change from a meat-heavy diet to a mostly vegetarian one? What on earth are you doing, Brandon? Claiming that the initial reaction of folks is insurmountable? Because it's not, and your insistence that it is has become bizarre.
posted by mediareport at 6:10 AM on October 8, 2008


Never said that. or that. Repeating a point of view that I've seen people express. Not insurmountable, but not helped by the attitude you've displayed that they're thoughts and feelings aren't that important and they need to get over themselves and learn how fun it is to be vegetarian. That approach dooms what is a worthwhile endeavor.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:40 AM on October 8, 2008


I don't wish this on anyone, but people smoke cigarettes until they get lung cancer and die. Eating less meat because it's good for animals? the planet? oneself? I can imagine it would take an imminent threat of a heart attack to get people beginning to even think about making a change.
posted by salvia at 10:50 AM on October 8, 2008


Some people, particularly those who are older and have well-established habits.
posted by salvia at 10:50 AM on October 8, 2008


not helped by the attitude you've displayed that they're thoughts and feelings aren't that important

Jesus, I'll say it again: There are lots and lots of resources out there to help people through their feelings and thoughts about giving up meat. We actually, you know, linked to them helpfully above. I've helped more folks (starting with my burger- and hot dog-loving self) move to a reduced meat diet than you have, believe me, and I do it by respecting their feelings. But here, in this thread, you're just being ridiculously stubborn about nameless other people's hardcore anti-veggie feelings while mischaracterizing the extent of vegetarians' willingness to meet meat-eaters where they are emotionally and psychologically. You're being deliberately foolish. I'm done.
posted by mediareport at 11:06 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Brandon, you’re not crazy, but you think people are.
posted by joeclark at 9:37 PM on October 11, 2008


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