Vegan Salt –the blog

{April 25, 2010}   The Chick and the Egg

I recently visited a long-time friend and her husband for dinner in their new home.  After catching up over a pleasant meal of Indian food, I met the most recent additions to their household: Rosie, Frida, and Charlotte.  This yellow ball of fluff is Rosie sitting on my hand. While not vegans, my friends are kind-hearted and progressive people, and they eat mostly plants.  They’re very conscious of food politics, environmental concerns, and health.  The purchase of three female chicks is part of their ongoing movement toward a more personally responsible and ethical relationship with food.  (They’re also growing a garden and looking into building a greenhouse.)

In an enclosed backyard, the chickens will be able to dust bathe and to scratch for bugs in the grass, once they’re a little older.  Nearly all chickens that hatch in the U.S. are denied the simple pleasures that come from having dirt and grass beneath their feet. Each of the girls is a different breed, and they were selected not for the size of the egg they will lay, but for their friendliness.  They’ll be treated more like the cat (who’s getting along with them just fine so far) than like egg machines.  This is Frida on my hand, with beautiful hawk-like markings.  Her eggs will be small and blue-green. Read the rest of this entry »


I’m doing something a little differently today.  Below is an essay I wrote nearly three years ago, back when I rarely capitalized letters.  I think what I wrote back then is as relevant as ever.

i recently read online a letter that Michael Vick wrote to his judge, explaining what a kind person he actually is, asking for forgiveness and a second chance.  he promised that all the money he makes for the rest of his life will be spent doing good in the world, and that he has learned his lesson.

if you somehow missed all the hype and don’t know who Michael Vick is or what crime he was imprisoned for, he’s a pro football star who was arrested last summer for taking part in a dogfighting business.  he was not allowed to play football this last season, and companies with whom he had endorsement deals dropped him like a hot coal.  in december, he was sentenced to 23 months in prison for his part in the beating, shooting, hanging, starvation, and electrocution of pit bulls.  the corpses of dozens of dogs were found buried on his property, while even more abused dogs were found still alive in filthy cages, and are now being placed in loving homes.  for some time, Vick refused to admit that he had any direct involvement in the cruelty and death of the dogs.  his money funded the kennel business however, and he was aware that dogs were being killed when they didn’t fight well enough.

i know i’m a little late to jump on the Michael Vick hating bandwagon.  there’s a reason i haven’t said anything about it for all these months.  honestly, i’m perplexed.  not by the cruelty of Vick and his friends, but by the doublethink of the anti-Vick crowd.

people were outraged to learn about the dogfighting ring, and rightfully so.

to think that someone would knowingly fund such cruelty and animal abuse.  to give money to people who profit off of the suffering of animals purely for people’s enjoyment.  to take a young animal which has the potential for a simple but happy life, and abuse that helpless creature, disfigure it, and eventually kill it, while raking in a profit. it’s unthinkable. it’s repulsive.

it’s the meat and dairy industry.

yes, most of the outraged americans who wrote letters to editors, chanted in protest, insisted that Vick be banned from football, and even those vengeful few who said that he should suffer the same fate he inflicted on those helpless animals, those very same people pay someone every day to abuse, starve, and kill innocent animals packed into filthy cages.  animals who want nothing more than food, warmth, and a little affection; in other words, life.  if what Michael Vick did is wrong, and i’m fairly sure you’ll agree that it was, then wearing fur is also wrong.  paying for a steak is wrong.  buying eggs is wrong.  we live in a society of Michael Vicks who don’t even realize what they have become.

if you don’t believe that you are subsidizing suffering of the sort that Michael Vick subsidized, please learn a little more about what is done with your money when you buy an animal product.  ignorance of the cruelty we fund is no excuse to go on funding it.  please educate yourself and do the right thing.  pigs suffer as much as pitbulls do.

this video is a good place to start.

et cetera