French people don’t give a shit about lifestyle politics. Okay, it’s a generalization, but—despite my short residence and limited language skills—there’s some truth to it. I saw it on May Day, among the anarchists selling Coca-Cola products and candy bars, and I saw it at a “zero waste” conference where the attendees couldn’t manage to… Continue reading Should the Revolution Have a Vegan Option?
Last night, I met someone who produces no waste. Now, you could quibble over the technicalities—in an obvious biological sense, we all make some waste—but I was still impressed. She eschewed all food that came in disposal containers, bought things in packaging only if she could reuse it, and got all of her clothes second-hand.… Continue reading The 90% Rule
I’ve been meaning to return to blogging for a while—in fact, since I made it a New Year’s Resolution and, immediately thereafter, abandoned it as quickly as a new exercise regime. Leave it to a not-at-all veiled attack on veganism to bring me back. Periodically, friends forward me links obliquely encouraging me to reconsider my… Continue reading Still Eating Quinoa
Pursuant to a conversation I had at our departmental drinks night last Wednesday—by which I mean, a conversation I’ve now had with shockingly little variation about four-hundred times since I went vegan—I have decided to officially coin my first sociological theory: Barnard’s Law: In any heated discussion between a vegan and a non-vegan over animal… Continue reading Barnard’s Law
Periodically, animal advocates get torn to shreds for daring to suggest that the suffering of animals deserves our consideration alongside the suffering of humans. Last year, Natalie Portman had the audacity to ask, “If we don’t tolerate rape, why do we tolerate meat eating?”—and was promptly pounced upon by feminist bloggers. More recently, twitter called… Continue reading PETA vs. the Feminist Blogosphere
I’ve often wondered whether people who live their entire lives in places with really fantastic National-Geographic-esque animals still get excited when they see them. Are elephants still cool if you live in Kenya? And are squirrel monkeys equally entertaining for Amazonians as they are for me, or are they just like, well, squirrels? For their… Continue reading On the Need for a Huaorani A.L.F.
Last summer, it was a beard. This summer, it’s Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Almost exactly one year ago, I arrived in Uganda, expecting to see some elephants, learn a bit of Luganda, raft down the Nile, and maybe, in between visits to national parks, do a bit of economic research on agricultural cooperatives. It didn’t… Continue reading Africa Beards, Expat Guilt, and Mac’n’Cheese