Wednesday, February 6

The CDP vs. PETA.

...Not Really. They're Good People.

You probably already know this about me, but I'm a vegetarian. I've been meatless for many years now, for a plethora of different reasons pertaining to moral values, health and the advocating of animal rights. I'm proud of the decision I made, and I personally believe it's the right one.

The distinction I like to make, however, is that I'm not one of those vegetarians. I won't get in your face if you choose to eat meat, I won't preach if you choose to hunt, and I won't destroy your carnivorous arguments, regardless of how narrow your mindset happens to be. It's not in my nature, and furthermore, it doesn't win friends or convert people. I've known this for a long time now. Bitch to a meat-eater about eating meat, and they'll just want to eat more meat to shut you up. You'll probably deserve it, too. No sense in trying to change someone like that.

Here's how I look at it. I'm pro-choice on the abortion issue; mainly because I feel that my opinion should carry absolutely no weight when it comes to the choices a female wishes to make with her body and her potential offspring. My take on the issue is about as important as Paris Hilton's take on penile cancer. She doesn't deserve to speak on the issue; nor should I. Unless my sperm was involved somehow, my opinion is worth nothing, and rightfully so.

So, when I travel back to my hometown and view a radical pro-life protest in the parking lot of the Catholic church I was baptized in, it doesn't do much for my biased attitude when I see billboard-sized photographs of aborted fetuses. It just reminds me of a robotic, annoying band of exploitative assholes that I wish not to associate myself with. The argument they were trying to make is lost in the presentation. Had they hit me non-intrusively with a few facts, literature and business cards, perhaps I would have taken them a little more seriously. Or better yet, they could have just assumed that human beings were capable of making their own educated decisions without the further distraction of their guilt and shame-driven racket.

Back to vegetarianism.

It is this humble, somewhat-humanistic and non-confrontational attitude that has kept me opposed to the tactics and ad campaigns produced by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Don't get me wrong, PETA is a respected and well-known organization that gets the word out about the healthy and environmental benefits of a meatless lifestyle, along with the typically unseen horrors of the meat processing trade. What frustrates me is their standard method of gaining publicity. Shock tactics, upside-the-head brutality and public demonstrations that remind me all-too-well of the pro-life demonstrations that irk me so.

The comparison may be slightly unfair and on opposite sides of the political spectrum, but be reminded that PETA is also an organization that modeled an ad campaign after the Holocaust. Yikes. When you have a minute, do a Google Image Search for 'PETA,' just make sure you don't do it while at the office. To say that the message is lost at times is a serious understatement.

So, I'm torn. I want so badly to be a proud PETA member, but at the same time, I get embarrassed each time I turn on the news to see another publicity stunt garnering negative attention (not all attention is good, especially when you're trying to change minds through information and education). This conflict came out during my most recent interview with the Wisconsin State Journal. It reads as follows:

CDP: There have been a couple of times when I've been political or talked about pop culture where people react. I remember awhile ago I did something about vegetarianism.

WSJ: And you are a vegetarian.

CDP: Yes, I am a vegetarian. I think it's important but I don't think it's mandatory. I'm not one of those guys. I don't support PETA since I think they have a good message but their marketing is incorrect. I think they need to find a better way to convert people than these shock tactics.

WSJ: So having naked women posing with signs down on State Street is not your thing?

CDP: Well, it's just not going to convert people. It's converting people to naked women, not vegetarianism. That's not the image you want to portray. So I explained it simply to people who were thinking about it. When I first went vegetarian I had a lot of questions, I thought I'd die, I didn't think I'd survive. After awhile it made sense. I'm just an average guy, I don't work out a lot; So I just wanted to put something out there that was just an average person's guide to going meatless. I got a lot of wonderful emails.

As you can see, I didn't waver on my stance. The point that I made was the one that I always make, being that I believe PETA has a good message, but their marketing is incorrect and alienating not only potential meatless converts, but also loyal and unobtrusive vegetarians like myself. Fair enough, right?

Well, what I forgot was that the WSJ article ran nationwide, and eventually grabbed the interest of PETA; specifically one of the campaign managers. I received this e-mail a few days ago; the name has been withheld because I'm not in the business of getting sued:

Dear Mr. Zeinert,

We at PETA were thrilled to read in the Wisconsin State Journal that you’re a vegetarian and have written about 'going meatless' on your blog. However, as someone who has organized and participated in several 'naked' PETA protests, I would like to share our reasons for using 'shock tactics' in our efforts to raise awareness of animal suffering.

Before people will stop buying, for example, fur coats, they must be aware of the industry’s cruelty to animals. Getting the news out in the media therefore, is vital. Unlike our opposition, which is mostly composed of wealthy corporations, we cannot afford costly ad campaigns, and thus have to rely on getting free 'advertising' through media coverage. We will do just about anything to get the word out, even to the point of using 'shock tactics' because we have learned from past experience that the media, sadly, thrives on such shenanigans.

If I can help call attention to the animals’ side of the story in a 'naked' protest, that's a choice I’ll gladly make. We hope that you will consider supporting PETA’s efforts to end animal suffering.

It was an informative and professional letter, and I appreciate that they took the time to send it to me. It does, however, verify a few things concerning PETA and their marketing. Mainly, that they participate in shock tactics and generating confrontational images because it works and gets people talking. Furthermore, they're happy with the press attention they receive, and will do whatever is necessary to gain more.

I honestly can't argue with that. It got me talking, didn't it? At the very least, I'm glad that they actually admitted to doing what they do for the media exposure, and not as much for the intended audience. It still doesn't make sense to me from a marketing standpoint (the audience is more important than the media; regardless of all the exposure you get from these campaigns), but they were straight with me, and I appreciate that.

This was the e-mail that I wrote back to PETA shortly thereafter:

First off, thank you so much for taking the time to write me; I greatly appreciate it. I also want to thank you for explaining and defending the ad campaigns and methods used by PETA to get the word out concerning animal abuse and cruelty.

As mentioned in my interview, I've been a vegetarian and strong supporter of animal rights for many years now. The main point I was trying to make in the interview was that certain shock tactics, while attracting of a large audience, also have the polarizing power to turn like-minded people off to the message. I understand that the main goal is to be seen and heard by as many people as possible with the limited funds raised by PETA, however, certain theatrics tend to distort the overall message at times. When I said "I support their message, but I believe that their marketing is incorrect," that was specifically what I was referring to.

I, myself have brainstormed many ways to positively, intelligently and unabashedly get the word out about the detriment to our planet and bodies that a meat-fueled lifestyle entails. I know it's a difficult path, as ignorance and apathy cannot be easily reversed through a poster or commercial. Conclusively, I think that any group that makes it their goal to educate citizens on the multiple positive values of a meatless lifestyle is doing a service to our nation, polarizing ad campaigns or otherwise.

With that in mind, please accept my $25 donation to PETA (I just donated online), with my best wishes of further success to your organization.

Thanks again for taking the time to contact me,

-Ryan J. Zeinert

I believe I did the right thing. I stood my ground (still do), but made a point to recognize the work that these people do behind the imagery and struggle for media attention. I also wanted to subtly make the point that by reasoning with people on the topics at hand (ie: me), you could change the minds of those that you're overlooking with your dragnet publicity tactics. Nude protesters in a cage didn't change my mind, but personality, honesty and logic did the job just fine.

Or maybe, just maybe, it shows that I'll do anything I can to be voted the Sexiest Vegetarian in Wisconsin for 2008.

Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day.

Ooooh man, I am so going to win that contest, even if they don't know who I am, damnit!

It's on!
Hmmm, I'm not a vegetarian mostly because it's hard to eat well on that kind of diet, but the fur thing, sure, why not.
Do you remember maybe four years ago when someone let all those minks loose in Middleton? I think it was a mink farm on Airport Road. Free the minks, right. Going down Donna Dr. was like a game of reverse Whack A Mole. I don't remember who did it, but that's what I think of when I think of PETA. Free the animals so they can end up as hood ornaments. One also bit a kid.
Excellent photo, btw.
Excellent post. You've accurately captured the frustration I've felt for a long time for PETA and other progressive groups that I agree with, politically, but disagree with tactically. One may get in the paper by dressing in chicken outfits and burning Colonel Sanders in effigy, but it will not persuade people to avoid KFC. Delicious, succulent KFC. The attention one draws to oneself [eye-rolling, annoyance, hostility] hardly gets one closer to the stated goal.

Pulling back some from the Animal Rights crowd, other progressive groups seem to think that spectacle rather than well informed arguments and dignified presentation is the way to go. Look at the lunch counter protests of the 1950s and 1960s versus, say, the anti-WTO actions in Seattle. One was dignified, powerful, and effective; the other was a circus that virtually no one but those who had already consumed the Kool Aid took seriously.

And I think that might be the point. It is almost as though, in addition to doing whatever it takes to get on television, these groups have turned their backs on seeking a genuinely larger argument. Instead, they choose a form of performance art of the benefit, entertainment, and self-vindication of their own constituencies.

That's my two cents anyway, and that is why I have not supported many progressive causes in the last several years. I still agree with the idea; I despise the tactics.
PETA's President Ingrid Newkirk has called for the eradication of Pit Bulls. No matter how you feel on the subject, why is it that some animals are protected by PETA and while it's okay to perform a mass holocaust on others?

Additionally, the animals that PETA "saves" are not adopted out but are euthanized.

Do I believe in an animal rights movement? Hell yes. But when the dogs I love are victims of violence and ignorance, when they are beaten and tortured and starved, when they have been shot multiple time sin the eye with a BB gun and had their mouths taped shut and have been had their leashes tied to the back of trucks to drag them and their ears cut off all in the name to make them "tough" and People for the Ethical Treatment of SOME Animals comes around and tells me to screw off, they should be put to death?

Fuck PETA.
I'm not a vegetarian, but I understand why someone would choose to be.

I grew up on a farm and my dad and brother are still there. Almost all the beef we eat come from their farm -- not from the farm. So I know where my meat comes from and I know how most farmers treat their animals -- it is better than you think.

But I have read Fast Food Nation and agree with most of it. Most of the problem isn't the farmers themselves but the corporations that demand this and that from them. Some of those demands are good: (Fact: in the 1980's, they developed a method to raise hogs with less disease and less fat. Which means an overall healthier pork for us to eat). And some are bad (like feeding cattle their own feces. Not cool and the cause for salmonella in beef).

So I understand where you are coming from, but I think the "it's all bad" side the naked PETA people take is a little misconstrued. It isn't just good and bad, but much gray in between.
Eating meat and caring about animal rights are not mutually exclusive like PETA would like people to think.
I've personally written letters to and boycotted companies that I know with insatiable animal practices (i.e. Campbell's, McDonald's). I'm against most fur, and I support a failing vegan resturant in my community (I heart rice cream). I do all that and make one kickass steak.

(off of what Slack is talking about: PETA kills animals)

...but don't get me wrong I'm up for a naked protest anytime.
Holy heck this is gonna get interesting.

I'm not a supporter of groups such as PETA mainly because 1) I eat meat. That is not going to change. Yes, I know where my food comes from and how it's processed. It's a choice I've made, but I'm totally understanding and supportive of the choices others make in terms of their diet and lifestyle 2) Their "shock tactics" don't deter those who really want to eat meat and wear fur 3) Animal rights causes can be supported without using the "militant practices" and questionable methods that PETA (and other orgainzations) often employ. I agree with Ed - dignity and conviction for a cause trump blatant attention-whoring for the benefit of the media circus any day.

And that picture makes my flesh creep!
I can't get past the terrorist tactics and hypocrisy of PETA. In my eyes the negatives far out weigh the positives and it's arguable if there's anything positive at all.
Hey everyone, I just crawled out of bed (I knew we were going to get a foot of snow this morning, so I took the day off).

This is great. Really, this is exactly what I wanted to wake up to. Some people agree with everything that happened. Some people think I should have been more harsh on PETA. Some people are indifferent, but everyone has an opinion. A logical, heartfelt, well-shaped opinion.

It seems, however, that we're all in agreement on the main point of the essay; the tactics don't work on those that see through the bull crap. Not just consumer bull crap, but the bull crap that's all around us every minute of every day.

I have the best readers out there, and I really mean that.
I'm from the school of thought where, if someone really pisses me off, I'm going to do exactly what they don't want me to.

A few years back, when I still lived up in Greenville, SC, a group of PETA protesters were picketing a KFC. Fine. No concern of mine. I, unfortunately, decided to pull in to KFC to turn around. The jerks actually banged on the hood of my car and yelled at me.

When I rolled down my window to ask them to stop and explain that I was just turning around, one of them stuck their head in to yell at me. I punched him square in his damn nose, got out of my car and threatened the rest of them. To add insult to injury, I went through the drive through and ordered my lunch.

I have no problem with animal rights, I always adopt rescue dogs from the shelters, I never pay eleventy billion dollars for a designer breed. I have volunteered at veteranarian offices, and donated blankets and money to animal shelters.

Do not interfere with my personal space and property to further your agenda, PETA.

Amazing, JT. Exactly what I'm talking about.

It's so conflicting to me, when I want to support what I think is right, but the main organization does so many things that are completely radical, nonsensical and ridiculous.

It sounds to me like this greatly transcends a 'vegetarian vs. meat-eater' argument. This is about how you handle yo' bizness.
It truly is.

I also am intelligent enough to realize that, in some cases, it is a case of a few bad apples making the entire group look bad.

I do not believe that this is the case with PETA.

I think with PETA, the majority of the nutjobs make the normal vegetarian, pro-animal-rights people such as yourself look bad.
Damnit, Blogger ate my comment.

OK, let's try this again:

SLACKMISTRESS - I'm leaning toward adopting a pit bull in a couple of years, so hearing about PETA's stance on the breed is especially infuriating. According to their website, it sounds like they're calling for an end to their breeding, which just seems like a fools errand--not to mention just thoughtless.

CDP - Thanks for a well-thought out post and for sticking to your guns on this. I, like most of you, agree with the basic message of stopping cruelty toward animals, but disagree strongly with their tactics.

I say we start our own organization--say, PETAAH (People for the Ethical Treatment of All Animals and People). We can be super mellow and groovy, with more reasoned tactics, and then throw our own sexiest vegetarian contest. I mean, the Madison area alone has to have enough to make it competitive. :)
I'm a proud meat-eater. I have no moral qualms with something being bred for the specific purpose of being delicious. I have problems with other things concerning our meat, but I won't really get into them, because they're vaguely off-topic (treatment of farmers, portion control, quality of meat, etc).

PETA claims they use shock tactics because they work. They get people talking. But I wonder if PETA has ever stopped to listen to what people are talking about.

Maybe a slow, classy ad campaign doesn't give overnight success. But if they really want to change things, and not get people to hop on a flashy trend (because, let's be honest, in our generation it's so 'trendy' and 'off-beat' to give up meat - at least, here in California) that they'll probably give up when they have children, they have to seriously think how to change the way people think about what they eat.

For the record, I gave up meat for three months once. Nothing to do with cute fuzzies. Just a sheer test of will. I pulled it off, but man did my body miss meat. Cow especially.
JT - Great point. It's the same thing with Republicans and Conservative Christians. They're certainly not all bad, for a few raisin cakes always have to ruin the party.

EMILY - Yup. This is really all about us winning the Sexiest Vegetarian contest, isn't it? If we start campaigning now, nothing will stop us come voting day. You'll have a sash, I'll have a scepter; it'll be divine.

MORGAN - Good point concerning what sorts of discussions people are having about PETA. This post just drives that home more; not all attention is good.

If I trolled message boards, worked my ass off with social networking and paid for ad space everywhere, I'd probably have a lot more traffic to the CDP. I knew that was morally question and sort of icky, so I went with the 'one dedicated person at a time' approach. I wouldn't have had it any other way.

The trick with going meatless (and I'm not saying that you should), it giving up a couple of things at a time; gradually doing this for a couple of months until it's all gone. I didn't do it that way (cold turkey, yo), but it sounds like it would be a far easier way about it.
Actually, cold turkey was one of the last things I gave up.

*ba-dum ching!*
Case in point: when the CDP still ate meat, I screamed at him for about 2 years "How can you eat meat? Don't you CARE about the poor animals? Bla bla bla!!!" As one would expect, he didn't listen, and it only made him care less about what I had to say. When I finally realized this, I decided to just give him a calm and rational explanation of why I don't eat meat, and never mention it again. Lo and behold, he started asking ME questions about it on his own time, and he made the decisions on his own. It wasn't the quick, loud, and boisterous attack that made him was arming him with knowledge and letting him run with it and do with it what he would. He made the decision on his own, and it wasn't immediate. PETA needs to understand that this is the only respectable way to make their point.
Emily, Hathery and the CDP are so cool.
Whenever I go out to eat with my vegetarian friend it's like throwing the life of the party into an AA meeting. I get so much greif that I ordered a Salsbury Steak, and not the salad. I don't eat salid...
But I gotta say, vegetarian/vegan food is some of the best stuff ever.
Fight the power, CDP.
Hathery is right. One night, I found myself sitting alone at a Culvers, eating a Butterburger, when I just said to myself, "this is ridiculous; what am I doing?"

CAVEMAN - Thanks for the mad propz. A lot of meat eaters still stock their fridge with Morningstar and Boca products, because they taste great and are good for you. Totally agreed there.
It would be criminal not to acknowledge Emily's blistering one-liner.
CDP - Thanks for acknowledging my hard work. ;)

Also, I'd like to add that I just spent over an hour and a half getting my roommates car out of a snow bank and then shoveling our walks. While that sucked hard nards, the snow itself is pretty amazing. And what I love most is watching the hardy Wisconsinites on their skis and snowshoes, out walking and running errands.
Doing errands in snowshoes? How awesome is that! How I envy you people and your actual weather patterns.

I have a coworker who is not only a vegetarian, but also a strict vegan and also does not eat anything with gluten. Work parties are rough because sometimes people forget and don't order things she can eat and most of what we get catered has some kind of animal product or wheat product in it, so she ends up eating fruit. Then, there are the times someone (without thinking) uses a serving utensil from the meat dish to try to fish out some fruit, and it's all over - she can't even eat the fruit.
I don't really have much to add to the conversation. I've thought about going vegan once or twice. Honestly, I don't know where to draw the line about animal cruelty.
Okay, so we're saving cows. We're saving fish. We're saving pigs.

What about the spiders we stomp? What about the ants we incinerate with magnifying glasses? What about the mice or other rodents that infest so many residences? When is it okay to kill one living thing, but not another?

What happens if we stop killing these animals for food? Would we then be over-populated by cows and pigs? Why is it socially acceptable to gun down a deer, but paintballing a cow is a sin? *Not that I've done either of those things, just sayin' is all*

Seriously, though...
PETA + Duke = Bomb Pop
I think pit bulls are another issue, but it surprises me that PETA took that stance. We hurt the breed, maybe irreparably, and I don't know how you'd control the things being done to them.
I completely understand the KFC reaction, but don't ever get out of the car. Call the cops, write an editorial, take a video and put it on YouTube. Remember what happened to Eraserhead at that diner.
It snowed in Wisconsin last night? We (Maine)had snow yesterday.
CAVEMAN - It snowed last night, but the real blizzard started this morning and is still rockin' and rollin' as I type this. I'm fairly certain we've got over a foot from this storm alone. Weee!
Anyone ever see the Bullshit episode about animal rights and PETA? It's on You Tube in 3 parts. Part 1:
EMILY - Newkirk is calling for them to also be euthanized at our nation's shelters as well, complaining that they were bred as weapons (a half-truth - they were bred to fight other dogs, and a responsible owner knows that, and will never take their dog to a dog part or have any unsupervised offleash play.)

There are a staggering number of pit bulls in this country, and if they were truly all killers, the streets would actually be running red with blood.

Emily, if you want to be a pit bull owner, please email me (my email is on my blog) or check out before you do anything. They are awesome dogs but come with a huge amount responsibility.
*low whistle*

This is all way out of my internet life's depth, so I'll leave you guys and your fancy views to settle this one.

All I have to say is that in Britain, most vegetarians are mocked for their eating beliefs, thanks to a certain famous berk named Jeremy Clarkson.
What, you thought I'd supply a link? Go look him up yourself. I'm off to bed.
Hmmm, I'm never heard of this berk, but I'm too lazy to look him up too.

Currently, the CDP and I have 3 feet of snow in front of our front door, so we really couldn't go anywhere even if we wanted to.
I believe the same thing about Morningstar/Boca that I do about soy milk: it tastes all right to the people who haven't had the original in so long that they've forgotten what it's like.

Three months of Morningstar for me. The beef strips were all right. The chicken nuggets had a texture that worried me.

Also, isn't snow that stuff you put in little cones and pour syrup on? Why do you need feet of that? Especially in winter?

You guys are weird.
Is this the Jeremy Clarkson you refer to? If so, this is the funniest thing I've read in a long time: Later, when being chased by a gang of rednecks, he says "I honestly believe that in certain parts of America now, people have started to mate with vegetables."
Blah, wrong link. Here it is.
SLACKMISTRESS - Thanks for the offer of advice, and I may take you up on it at some point, but rest assured that I have spoken with a whole slew of pit bull owners and advocates and have a good idea of the ups and downs of ownership. When it does come time to adopt, I will definitely do a ton of research first. I take dog ownership very seriously (grew up with a great many of 'em). :)

I've shoveled the walks and driveway THREE TIMES today. I am officially spent. (photos at my blog, in case anyone's curious)
Not only couldn't I get my car out of the garage, but I could barely make it to the road on skis. How'd you like to be stuck on the Interstate for nine hours.
New fallen snow cones. There's a thought. Where's the amaretto?
Yay, It's snowing!
I've had just about enough of the snow. What was projected to be a mild winter has turned into a record-breaking year. Also, I fully expect summer to be just as terrible.

The drive to the office was slow and plodding, but safe enough, I suppose.

Emily, will you be at the Pub Quiz tonight?
Just for the sake of being an ass, it's warm enough here that I'm wearing a short sleeved shirt.
We wear short-sleeved shirts the second it gets above 35.

That's the thing. The cold I can handle. When it's -25, it doesn't snow. It's the 20-30 that sucks, because that's when you get blanketed.
Three months of Morningstar for me. The beef strips were all right. The chicken nuggets had a texture that worried me.

One thing has always puzzled me about vegetarian food. Why does it always try so hard to be meat?

If you are a vegetarian for moral reasons, wouldn't eating these products say to the animals that you are not eating meat because they were living creatures, but you still like your food to taste like them?

If you are a vegetarian for health reasons wouldm't an all natural product be better for you than a processed substitute?

MAUS - My sister and family have to be gluten free. It is a pain-in-the-a$$ trying to feed them. If I had to accomodate a gluten free vegan they would starve. Every time. To me that's like saying you only eat white foods, no starch. Sorry, not my problem.

I'm not trying to be a wise ass with the morning star question. Srly curious about that.

Awesome thread BTW.
Blu raises a good point, one to which I would like to add.

Stop calling your non-meat products "vegetarian bacon." That is impossible. Bacon = pig = awesome. I have the same issue with turkey bacon, by the way, so don't think I'm just picking on the vegetarians.

It's blasphemy against bacon, I tell you! The most sacred and most delicious of all meats!
There are some veggie substitutes I simply can't handle. Like the hot dogs...they are way too hot-dog like. It frightens me, and I can't deal with it.

As someone who ate meat for many years and enjoyed the taste, I think it's natural to want a substitute. Especially when you're a new vegetarian and weaning yourself off the dead-cow. haha. I rarely eat any soy-substitutes these days. The CDP eats a lot more of them than I do because he's more fond--I only have a veggie burger if I go out. I get my protein mostly from things like sprouted grains and other hippy dippy crap like that.
So...what sounds more appetizing:

Sprouted Grains?

Crispy Bacon?

I'm just sayin' is all...
I will go on the record as saying I've always hated bacon. In fact, I gave up pork when I was 7 years old. That was the first meat I ever officially shunned.
I know what you're saying. If people are anti-meat, why do they eat food that attemps to replicate their taste so much?

Truth is, meat tastes pretty damn good, and companies wish to replicate anything that tastes good. If parsley tasted like steak, this wouldn't be an issue, but it don't.

For most vegetarians, they want a healthy diet and tasty food that doesn't compromise their morals. So if they can get a veggie burger that tastes almost exactly like the real thing (ie; good), but is really healthy for them, they're usually pretty happy.

Vegetarian bacon is awful. They're way behind on their bacon technology. Burgers, ribs and chicken is another story.
I love the idea that there is bacon technology.

Also, "Bacon Technology" would make an awesome band name.
Bacon Technology played my 8th grade dance...
Bacon Technology goes to Duke. They've got the scent down, but the texture still resembles cardboard. Not that I care. Blegh.
I lost my virginity while listening to a Bacon Technology album.
Was it "Live from Bangladesh"? Because I understand that that album alone was responsible for 18% of all viriginity lost between the years of 1997-2005.
Knobs. The whole lot of you.
State your sources! Beh-heh.

This is a good time to remind everyone that their mix-tape should be in the mail by Monday, February 11.
This is a good time to remind everyone that their mix-tape should be in the mail by Monday, February 11.

Crap -- I have tweaks left to make.

I work with a lot of people from India who are Hindus, hence vegetarians. These guys do not want anything to do with fake meat -- soy burgers, to them, are almost as disgusting as the real thing. Because they aren't used to it -- they've never had a hamburger before, so they aren't familiar with the taste, texture, etc. and find it revolting.

So why are there so many meat substitutes? Because vegetarians are still craving the real thing.

That's my $0.02 . . .
Was it "Live from Bangladesh"? Because I understand that that album alone was responsible for 18% of all viriginity lost between the years of 1997-2005.

[citation needed]
HOSS - Absoluely. However, if I went ahead and indulged myself with everything that I crave, I would have been dead 10 times over by now.

Not all cravings mean that you need to act on them. It's what keeps us out of jail and whatnot. I completely understand what you're saying, though.

MORGAN - xkcd is brilliant.
Yep. had we never eaten meat to begin with, we wouldn't need a substitute.

Just like if you hadn't been raised with a religious upbringing, you probably wouldn't feel a nagging guilt or a need for religion in your life. Weirdness.
Not saying religion is bad, I'm just talking about paradigms is all.
Exactly. If someone tried to sell the story of Santa Claus to you at the age of 25, you'd be a lot less apt to buy into it.
CDP - Sadly, no, I have to miss tonight's quiz to review a play (Stage Q's production of "Looking for Normal"). Not such a bad thing to have to miss it for, but I'm guessing that this means our not-meeting-in-real-life run will continue stretching on into epic length.

RE: Vegetarian meat substitutes. I don't like the stuff that tries to taste like meat. Part of the reason I gave up meat is that I don't like a lot of the stuff, so Boca patties especially wig me out. Gardenburgers and such I dig, because they taste like their own thing. I do admit to loving the chik'n patties and nuggets, though I really don't think they taste a lot like real chicken, either.

But hey, for people interested in going veg but who like the taste of meat, there's certainly a market for that, too.
"Story"?'s time you knew the truth...Santa went to Duke.
I wish Santa Claus existed and Duke didn't.

EMILY - Don't worry about not meeting up with me; I'm not actually real.
blustacon - My husband has a friend whose wife has celiac disease, so her food can't even touch anything wheat-related. There are a lot of places we can't go out to eat at as a group because there's so little on the menu that she'd be able to eat without risking becoming very ill. We go to Outback a lot, because they have an extensive gluten-free menu.
Maus - My mother has the same disease. I was said to have the same thing, but I've never become ill outside of your upset stomach every now and then. It's a real bitch for my mom, though. She, too, goes to Outback a lot....
Sounds like celiac disease goes to Duke.

Why do so many diseases greatly resemble my name? On second thought, don't answer that.
OK, so clearly I missed something. What's with all the Duke comments?

CDP - I knew it! You're just like Santa, or the Easter Bunny, or Iraq's WMDs!
Emily, do you seriously not know about going to Duke, or are you just showing you butthole right now?

(tee hee hee)
EMILY - Here's a quick rundown:

PHRASE - "....went to Duke."

EXPLANATION - Duke University is the single most-hated sports franchise on Earth to me, stemming back to the 1992 Regional Finals, where they beat Kentucky with the 'shot heard around the world.' Therefore, whenever something pops up that we wish to voice our disapproval concerning, we usually state that they went to Duke.

EXAMPLE - "PETA went to Duke."
This CDP-coined phrase will go nationwide someday:

I can see your butthole!
MAUS-MOE- She has mild form of celiac too, I guess it isn't that bad to deal with. My wife makes an incredible gluten free chocolate cake that tastes like fudge. She also eats a lot at The Outback. I've adapted. But to be gluten free and a vegan is WAY too much to expect anyone to deal with.

I don't know why Farkers hate Duke so much. They probably don't and are just like me and just think it's really funny to say.
Ah, it all makes sense to me now. And no, I wasn't showing you my butthole. That's only for special occasions.

A very good friend of mine goes to Duke, but it's for grad school and doesn't involve sports, so I think she's exempt from disdain.

She's. Exempt. From. Disdain.

Got it?

CDP- just let the tip show.
Emily's friend has classes with Sanjaya.
Emily's very good friend goes to Duke.

Heeeyyy...wait a minute...
Yes, 'letting the tip show' is almost as bad as having someone 'see your butthole,' but it can be salvaged with just the right words.

Notable Duke Alumni:

Arcade Fire
The Bomb Pop Drink
Chris Hansen wants to know where Cargirl went...
Just found this on Cargirl's blog featuing her list of things to do...

64. Meet Ryan Zeinert.

65. Finish writing "A Boy-Girl Affair".


No, seriously, what happened to Cargirl?
Notable Duke Alumni:

Arcade Fire
The Bomb Pop Drink

I firmly believe that this is a list we should keep up with.

Moe - I assume she's in school. That's where underage girls are during the day, even our beloved Jailbait...err...Cargirl.
Work is so much better than school. You can check your favorite blogs and talk about how much fun you used to have at school.
What happened to my comment?? Drat! Freaking Blogger!
Good luck winning that contest. some of those gents are quite yummy.

but you are very PC, so maybe you'll win....
School's a rave... madman with a axe coming to kill all your family and friends.

I can't wait until I'm head burger flipper at Burger King. Ahhh, the endless opportunities.

Oh, and because my mix is going over seas, I'm guessing I'm going to have to post it earlier.
I guess it would help if I didn't fudge my HTML. Sooo...

Working AT a school is like having the best of both worlds. Only by "best" I actually mean "worst".

And since we're talking about terrible afflictions (such as going to Duke), I have a friend who has Crohn's disease. There were days he would be curled up in a ball unable to move. It was awful to watch. Of course, if he'd take better care of himself, maybe it wouldn't flare up so often...

I have "What happened to Cargirl" in the voice of Tim Gunn from Project Runway going through my brain.
Crohn's disease is a horrible, awful, nasty thing. That's why I love the QB for the Jaguars so much. Saw a thing on SportCenter about his Crohn's, and I think anyone with Crohn's who can play tackle football without doubling over in pain and pooing their loons is totally rad.
My brother has Crohn's. I once got him a job with me on a ship I was on. Bad news: He had a flare up and had to be sent ashore on a fishing boat from the middle of the Bering Sea. Good News: He was paid as if he completed the trip and was able to have the intestinal surgery that enables him to live a normal life.
MOE - I'm really glad that Cargirl puts meeting me above finishing her screenplay. Coming from someone that actually wrote and completed a full-length screenplay, driving a few hours north to say hello to me is so much easier and probable.

I had always wanted to be listed on someone's "Who you'd like to meet," so I thank Cargirl for a dream realized. Everyone with a MySpace should follow her lead.

JT - "Add it to the list" will probably be an oft-used phrase around here. We can call it the 'Alumni Roster.'

BLU - Hilarious and true. If Blogs existed in this capacity when I was in school, I would have failed a billion times over.

TAMMY - Come on, you know* I'm sexy!

*Sexiness may vary.

CARROT - When I was in London for two weeks back in the day, I would walk from my hotel to the nearest Burger King every single night for a bacon double cheeseburger and a Coke. In the rain. Alone. It was a tragic and depressing sight.

MAUS - When I was in school, I always thought, "at least I'm not working." Now that I work, I think to myself, "At least I'm not in school." WTF?

HATHERY - David Gerrard is the freaking MAN.
Nikki and Paulo - add 'em to the list!

After all, we get to watch Lost tonight!!!
Wow, I missed this entire conversation from when CDP was complaining about the snow today to right now.
Thats what I get for going to class today...
Caveman ate Cargirl.
If Caveman really ate Cargirl, we're going to have to add him to the list.
We need a Senator to question Caveman. They don't seem to have anything better to do...
This conversation is imploding in upon itself, and I love it.

Caveman, when will you realize that contributing to the CDP should always be your main goal during the work week?

That, coupled with the accusation that you may have eaten Cargirl, leave you teetering on the brink of exile. I'm watching you.

This conversation is imploding in upon itself, and I love it.

At least there hasn't been any poop jokes. They always stink.

ba dum bum grooaan
Cargirl has NO EXCUSE. She has an iPhone. maybe I spoke a mite too soon about envying that northern weather.

So. I take it back. I'll bask in the unseasonable warmth (and complete lack of blizzard conditions) of my southern quasi-spring. And I'll LIKE it!
I'm not going to admit I ate Cargirl, but I really can't deny I did either.

The fact of the matter is that when I do start eating people I blackout for a day or two then wake up, brush myself off, and write something here.

Ever since the last time I've had horrible indigestion, so I wouldn't count her out.

(Oh no. Now I'm going to get a letter from PETA.)

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