Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Hoping the best for tiger involved in attack

Yet another animal is probably in harms way after a tiger at the San Antonio Zoo attacked its keepers this weekend, sending him to the hospital. The keeper will recover. It is typical human reaction to kill animals who attack humans, but we forget: It is the animal's nature to kill other creatures. Only time will tell in this case, but I'm willing to bet zookeepers will kill the tiger. I hope I'm wrong. Zoos are disgusting human creations and are nothing more than animal prisons. The San Antonio Zoo is especially bad with tiny enclosures for the animals. If I had my way, I would abolish all zoos. Instead, I would seek animal conservation areas with breading areas, if needed. Zoos as conservation tools are simply excuses to keep tearing up the animals' habitats. I don't need to see an animal in an enclosure to appreciate its majesty. Hopefully, Berani the tiger will not be executed.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Road Trip to San Antone

Queensryche, San Antonio

Queensryche, San Antonio

Vegan, San Antonio, Fire Bowl Cafe, Vermicelli Noodles
Vermicelli noodles with mixed vegetables, fried tofu and a spicy peanut butter sauce

Vegan, San Antonio, Fire Bowl Cafe, Teriyaki Rice
Brown rice with mixed vegetables, fried tofu and a Teriyaki sauce

This past weekend I made a rare visit to San Antonio to see mine and my wife's favorite band, Queensryche, perform. It was totally kool, except for the brief fight that broke out among two fans and the guy smoking pot near us. The music, though, was amazing. This band sounds as good live as they do on their albums. That's saying a lot. We also went to see Michael Moore's "Sicko" documentary. It was excellent. I've wanted universal health care in the United States. It seems we can never get any traction on the issue, but maybe just maybe Moore can help generate some interest in the subject among voters. The documentary was incredibly heart wrenching. It makes you want to live in a country where the people care enough about each other to take care of them medically. I grew up in the military, and I was provided plenty of free, quality health care. I served in the Army, and I got some more good care when I was in the service. Since I've been out, I haven't had a decent doctor's visit once. I've been out of the military for 11 years. The bottom line is we need to get rid of the middle man in this medical game, the insurance companies, who merely take their cut and hand the rest of the money you or the company you work for to the doctors. We also need to take out the outrageous profits doctors and pharmaceutical companies make. There is hope, but there's also Canada if all else fails. Sigh. Anyway, I went to one of my favorite restaurants, Fire Bowl Cafe in the Quarry Market. I had the horror of realizing the dish I had ordered several times before had fish in the sauce. I was such an idiot because the menu clearly marked the vegetarian sauces. I had the Szechuan garlic sauce, which I'm sure had fish in it. I presumed it was vegetarian because I was familiar with making Szechuan garlic sauce, and I had never heard of fish being added to the sauce. Ugh. Anyway, the Thai spring rolls at the restaurant are amazing. This visit, my wife got the vermicelli noodles with mixed vegetables, fried tofu and a spicy peanut butter sauce. I had brown rice with mixed vegetables, fried tofu and a Teriyaki sauce. Both were very sweet and not very spicy. We fixed that with some chili sauce and more soy sauce. Mmmm.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Wee bit o' hope dashed

I couldn't believe it when I heard a rumor that Guinness changed its ways and became a vegan beer. I checked on the Internet, and sure enough, there were some Web sites out there claiming that Guinness stopped using isinglass, a fish product, to clarify it. One of the Web sites said Guinness started using a centrifuge instead. I checked on the Guinness Web site, and it said they used a centrifuge twice to clarify the beer. "Wow," I thought, "maybe the rumor is true." I was still dubious, though, and I e-mailed the company. Here was their response: "In reference to your inquiry, isinglass, a fish product, is used during the clarification process as a magnet to get rid of excess yeast. To the strict Vegan, this would be an animal product and unsuitable." Oh well, I guess I can't have a Guinness. Beck's Dark is really good and vegan, and they'll get my money as long as Guinness refuses to remove an unnecessary product from its brewing process. Speaking of dark vegan beers, does anyone have any favorites that they'd like to share? I'm always looking for another good brew.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The weight of an argument

Have you heard the recent criticism of Michael Moore and his new documentary, "Sicko" (which I plan on seeing this weekend)? Some are saying that the documentary's conclusions that universal health care is needed are not valid because Michael Moore is fat. That's perhaps one of the most illogical arguments I've heard in a while. Moore's weight has nothing to do with his reasoning. How many doctors live unhealthy lifestyles? I'm sure it's more than those who live healthy ones. Does that disqualify them from giving sound medical advice? I don't think so. What about trainers of world champion boxers? Some of them are short and fat, but Mike Tyson would never have been world champion had he not be taught how to box by one of these trainers. Would it be better for doctors and Michael Moore to be thin and vegans? Absolutely. (Oh my, I'm sounding like Donald Rumsfeld.) Certainly, a person's ability to reason never has anything to with weight of that individual.

Monday, July 9, 2007

We may be veagns, but we aren't pushovers

Would there be such a thing as guilt if there were no relatives? Probably, but there would be a lot less of it. I think my wife and I are looked down upon by our relatives because we refuse to allow any meat to come into our house. Our refrigerator, and our stove have never met meat before, and we would like to keep it that way. It's not that that we are against feeding our relatives. We enjoy cooking for them. We are happy to feed anyone who stops by, but we are a vegan household. Anita and I were musing about one of our parents getting sick and having to take care of one of them, and we kept thinking about how we keep our parent from bringing meat into our house. If there is any place you should have as a sanctuary, it should be your home. On a side note, on that recent family reunion in which we had to endure a massive barbecue, my wife's brother actually had the nerve to ask us to fetch him some barbecue because he wouldn't be attending the reunion. Are we assholes for refusing? Are we too sensitive because we can't stand the smell of meat? We may be vegans, but we aren't doormats.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Go vegan, or you might eat human

I was walking down the frozen food section at the grocery store during lunch today, glancing at the products. "Wow, a new Indian dish that's vegan," I thought. I don't usually buy these highly processed foods, but that's good information to know in case I ever want to. Then, I saw a product I used to like when I was a vegetarian (before becoming vegan). Michael Angelo's frozen eggplant lasagna. Absolutely awful for you, but every time I see that brand, it makes me shake my head. Michael Angelo's is a good reason for anyone to go vegan. In 2003, they had an employee cleaning meat processing equipment at their factory Round Rock, Texas, get sucked into a machine and ground out the other side. OSHA fined the company for not making appropriate safety precautions. I'm not sure if they ever took care of the man's wife. I doubt it. As I was standing in the frozen food aisle earlier today, I wondered if the Michael Angelo's factory still uses that piece of machinery that killed the man. I bet they still do, but I don't know it for sure. It reminds me of the labels that frustrate me all of the time that say "May contain dairy." I really don't like buying even those products. Should Michael Angelo's be required to say, "May contain human," if they still use that deadly piece of equipment? I wonder how many new vegans that would generate?