I worked with a lot of vegans at the health food store; cool kids either straightedge or not, tattoo'ed and interesting. And I'd say the primary reason that they were vegans was because of animal-rights issues. Here are some of their stale sayings and bumper sticker and tshirts and buttons:
"I Don't Eat Anything with a Face" "Eat Beans Not Beings" "Tofu - the other white meat" "Beef - It's What's Rotting in Your Colon" "Please Don't Eat the Animals." "Baby Cows Drink Cow's Milk, Not Humans"
And there's a billion more that get progressively more preachy; shirts with tortured caged-animal photos and others that basically say you're a real asshole if you consider causing such terrible pain on the animal kingdom.
I'm not saying I don't agree with all of that to some degree -- why would I want to cause that kind of suffering-- but I'm saying it's not the primary reason that I personally am a vegan.
By far, the main reason I am a vegan is because -- and this is in part caused by my ever-increasing germaphobia -- I think meat products are disgustingly contaminated. It's horrible how they pen 'em up and immobilize and kill them and all that, yeah, yeah. . . but the filthy, horrendous conditions where animals are crammed together with festering bacteria, standing in their own shit, pumped with adrenaline as they sense their impending doom, and the malnutrition of them all and having to stand amongst their dead friends -- I'm getting a tshirt made up that says all that -- MAKES MY SKIN CRAWL. Don't get me started on pigs and salmonella-slimed foul fowl and filmy, coagulated cheese . . .
The second case of Mad Cow Disease was confirmed today. Did you see the infected cow that they showed on the 6'oclock news where it couldn't walk - it tried but couldn't? It disturbed my six year old so badly I had to talk her down. She was horrified. I scrambled, saying, "The cow is sick, baby." She asked with a traumatized face, "That's why he couldn't walk?" Shouldn't they warn you before they show that kind of stuff? The news did reassure us, however, that this infected cow was not slated for slaughter and I'm thinking it's because it couldn't walk up the goddamn ramp.
How badly do you think everyone wanted to keep this a secret? Especially as the U.S. is trying to lift a ban from buying American meat that Japan placed the last time we had a mad cow? I'm guessing badly. And I'm guessing that there are quite a few other secrets they have kept from us regarding the safety and sanitation of our food.
My friend Dan and I were trying to figure out why it was called Mad Cow. I said, "Don't be mad, cow, that you can't walk because we've penned you up in your own shit with a thousand cows in a 100-cow pen." Actually, Mad Cow just drives an infected person mad because it causes a rare neurological disease called Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, a maddening name for a disease, where "affected individuals may develop confusion, depression, behavioral changes, impaired vision, and/or impaired coordination, dementia, impairment of memory control, personality disintegration, agitation, restlessness, neuromuscular abnormalities, shock-like muscle spasms, slow involuntary writhing movements" then you get infections and die. HOLY SHIT. 150 people have died from this so far.
Looks like the animals have plotted a brilliant revenge - in a kamikaze, non-walking kind of way.
"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!" - Kerouac (As told to me by Marigoldie)