Sure, Chickens Get Sad ― Maybe Because We're Eating So Many of Them?

Categories: Week in Vegan

SFoodie's roundup of tips, news, and rants from the week in animal-free eats.

• Scientists just discovered that chickens show empathy. To science I say, NO DOY. But also: Way to come around, better late than never. I remember when I discovered that eating too fast gave me pain in the chest, and then science confirmed that it's a real thing that happens! Of course, science won't stop me from eating too fast again, and it certainly won't stop people from torturing and killing chickens, so really, what's the use?

We feel you, girl.
​• The meat industry is struggling with marketing.... It seems they're having a harder time convincing people that dead cow fat is good for their health. Good. And what's with all these slogan changes lately? KFC went from "Finger Lickin' Good" (gross but catchy!) to "So Good" (SO BAD). And the National Pork Board changed their slogan from "The Other White Meat" to "Pork: Be inspired." No, for real; that happened. Are they trying to pull a new Gap logo? Like, we'll all freak out and they get tons of free press and eventually return to their old slogans? I mean, really, what's their game plan here? They can't be that stupid. Or maybe they can and that's awesome news.

There's a depressing chart included in the piece that shows the amount of dead chickens consumed on a steady and dramatic upswing because, you know, it's so much more heart-healthy. When people hear I'm vegan, they always unload their awkward food rules onto me, and one of the most common from women is, "Well, I don't eat red meat." One of the (many) implications here is that they're eating fewer dead animals, but really, they're just eating a shit-ton (technical term) more dead chickens. Oh, and if it's for health, that shit ain't good for you either! I mean, unless you're into hormone and pesticide ingestion. Then it's really good for you!

Apparently Brazilian beef is having a greater impact on the environment than we realized, and it was already devastating. Ugh, awful. The most damning sentence is near the end: "By 2050, global meat consumption is expected to have increased by almost 80 per cent, which will require more grazing land and increased soy cultivation." EIGHTY PERCENT. And you all know that most soy is fed to animals, not made into tofu for vegans, right? So the next time you bitch about soy crops, check your hamburger. The world, it is fucked.

Sticky Fingers Bakery
Winning!: Doron Petersan.
​• The New York Times is encouraging you to go vegan for Lent. And I am encouraging you to stay vegan after, as well. Team work!

• I'm speaking at SXSW about online vegan activism. If you're gonna be there, come see me and buy me lunch! I'm poor! Speaking of you buying me lunch (you're the best!), check out this vegan food guide to SXSW that Lazy Vegan Smurf (who is the host of the talk I'm in!) put together. Fair warning to the breakfast tacos, popcorn tofu po' boys, and seitan quesadillas of Texas, watch your (delicious) backs!

• New veg restaurant Source opened last Wednesday. It looks coo-coo bananas and I can't wait to eat my way through the massive menu. Who's taking me?! I ask this every week about one thing or another and I never hear from any of you losers. I am starting to think you don't find me attractive!

• A vegan won Food Network's Cupcake Wars again! Yes! VegNews has an exclusive interview with the winner, Doron Petersan from Washington D.C.'s Sticky Fingers Bakery. Damn, vegans cannot stop winning on this show! The only thing wrong with this story is that they didn't bake me into a cake and have me jump out of it for the judges. I'd do the whole Marilyn Monroe "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" thing for the head judge, and after the audience hysteria subsided, I'd shimmy throughout the studio and pass out cake (sexily). The cops would call it a magical and highly sanitary night to remember! Oh well, next time ... call me!

Laura Beck is a founding editor of Vegansaurus and tweets at @mrpenguino. Follow SFoodie at @SFoodie, and like us on Facebook.
My Voice Nation Help

Ha, good on NY Times for encouraging being vegan for lent. I did that myself 2 years ago and haven't stopped being vegan.


Total fark about the empathy chickens. What about foxes? Does a fox feel bad for raiding a chicken coop and killing everything inside? Uh, no. Vegan whackos want us all to feel guilty for being human beings. They want to guilt trip us into not eating meat. Well I'm not fooled. I don't care one iota about chickens.


Hi Laura, neat article. I agree with everything you say, but I just have one question for you. It doesn't really seem natural that humans should have to rely on taking a B12 supplement to remain healthy, and this is my only beef with veganism. If people aren't planning on eating a shit-ton of white button mushrooms (the only plant source of it) every single day, what say you to the argument that we are not biologically engineered to depend on a pill? It's not the way we have evolved and adapted to absorb nutrients most efficiently. Isn't the whole theory behind supplements that they are supposed to, well, supplement our diets? That's fine, think what you think. But perhaps the reason you feel "people are finding me unattractive" is that your tone embodies the same high-and-mightyness we're used to hearing from passionate vegans. Everyone's allowed to be passionate, that's not the problem. But if vegans were more willing to gently educate people instead of talking down to them, like so many books, blogs and magazines do these days, you might just turn over a lot more supporters. Lose the self-righteousness and gain a little compassion for all the confused people out there.


Hi reader!

Thanks for the email!

It wouldn't be super hard for vegans to get B12 from dirt residue on fruits and veggies, but since most everything we eat is bleached/chlorined/chemicaled to death, we can't get it that way. Not long ago, vitamin B12 deficiency wasn't common because our ancestors didn't disinfect food to the same extent. Ten micrograms of B12 spread over a day appears to supply as much as the body can use, and that's so easy to get through fortified foods or a supplement that you only take a couple times a week. It's true that vegans need to be extra careful about B12, but a lot of the population, vegan and otherwise, are deficient, so it's something everyone should think about!

Since B12 is the only thing I have to add to my diet, I find the benefits of veganism to waaaay outweigh the inconvenience of drinking (delicious) fortified almond milk. I mean, the pay off, in terms of health, and naturalness of diet, is beyond amazing. And, you know, there are lots of things that humans rely on now because of advancements in research and medicine that help us live longer and better, and that's awesome. Pass the B12, baby!

If you're turned off by my writing style, that's totally cool, I can't please everyone! For your tastes, you might enjoy they are compassion in action!

Thanks again for writing!Laura

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