Dominoes Rejects Vegan Menu Options

PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, submitted a vote to be taken by the Dominoes shareholders to add vegan cheese and meat options to the menu. In an overwhelming majority, only 0.28% of shareholders voted in favor of the menu options, despite being over 100,000 votes, more than 43 million votes were against it. According to the Dominoes Board of Directors:

Like and prudent restaurant operation, we only add new items to our menu when there is meaningful consumer demand for that product, We have yet to see clear indication of that demand which would suggest that we add it to the menu of our more than 5,000 U.S. stores and, therefore, the Board cannot and does not support this proposal.

Even Dominoes Vice President had this to say:

We’re constantly looking at consumer trends and new things. There has been no sign of consumer demand, We know a little bit more about launching products than they do. We know a little more about running our company than they do.

Dominoes even claimed that they tried out vegan cheese before, and it did not work out.

As a vegan myself, I think vegan cheese on Dominoes pizza would be great! Maybe add some kind of vegan sausage or veggie crumble, I’d definitely buy Pizza more often. But since there is no demand for vegan cheese, there will be very little supply.

I think that instead of trying to coerce already established companies to give vegan menu options, which many simply won’t, more effort should go into opening vegan-friendly restaurants and drive-thru’, like Amy’s Drive-Thru. If Pizza Hut, or Dominoes, or McDonalds decides to start serving vegan food, that’s a plus, but the most benefit will come from allowing companies to choose for themselves, and by opening new companies to compete with the big giants.

Food Review: TVP

TVP, also known as Textured Vegetable Protein, is simply granules of soy beans. Many stores have them, but I personally have only been able to find the stuff at my local health food store. A 2 pound package of this will last quite awhile, and I bought mine for like, 7 dollars? Maybe less? I don’t quite remember as I lost the receipt.

TVP has no flavor, so you can literally combine it with anything. Adding it with a liquid makes the otherwise tough dry crunchy material into a soft material. It is also extremely filling as well, so be wary in how much you plan on eating. It makes a pretty good meat-alternative as well, although I usually just go to Gardein or Boca for my veggie crumble.  It is best combined in soups or the like, I personally like to add it in with some cereal, just for a boost of extra protein and vitamins.

Which brings me to my next observation: TVP is FULL of good stuff! A single half-cup serving of these granules has only 150 Calories, but 78% of Copper, 50% of Magnesium and Phosphorus, 35% of Folate, 33% of Zinc, 7 grams of Fiber, and a whopping 24 grams of protein!

I often eat this as a great way to get extra Protein and Zinc in my diet as a vegan, which is good because some days it is really hard to get an adequate amount of Zinc, especially now that I am eating tons more fruit, which I have to cut down a little on. You can buy a 10 oz bag of TVP from BobsRedMill for just 2.99, although the shipping is pretty expensive. It is better if you buy it in store, such as in a Whole Foods, or a Strack Van Til.

I definitely recommend this product for anyone who want a healthy and easy addition to soups or cereals.

Is There A Health-Based/Environmental reason to Not Wear Fur or Leather?

I often heat that health-based and environmental vegans are not as good as ethical vegans because they have no reason to avoid fur, silk, or leather. This is odd, noting that I am a person highly allergic to pet dander and dust, that is the main reason I stay away from using fur items that even resemble fur, but always from wearing products made from animal fur, even if it is claimed to be hypoallergenic.

In terms of wool or alpaca yarn I don’t buy them, not only because they can easily be full of pet dander, but because many people can be allergic or sensitive to wool containing clothing, including myself, who often find them extremely itchy because I have sensitive skin.

In terms of leather it is important not to purchase it due to the horrid health effects that the tanning process has on unprotected workers, and the environmental impacts that leather has not just due to the tanning process, but also due to the fact that a lot of leather is created using fur mined from dead cattle in factory farms, and animal agriculture is very harmful to the environment, and ultimately the health of the people, including myself.

In terms of cosmetic, many of them are inadaquately tested, and there are no studies on the long term effects cosmetics may have on health, and many cause pretty severe allergic reactions, such as Nair, which can literally burn through your skin, so on a health-standpoint, it is actually more logical to steer clear of beauty products altogether. For instance, the only beauty products I use is deodorant, shampoo, and conditioner, and I don’t wash my hair on a daily basis for other reasons.

The same goes with silk production, in which the purchase of silk products contributes to the health issues faced by many workers in the silk industry. Uncontained pollutants released through the creation of fur, leather, and the like hurt the environment, which in turn is a potential or direct health harm to me personally, so you can be a health-based vegan and still not wear these products.  For instance, that is why I often try to buy second-hand clothing or products from thrift stores/tossed out items when possible or practical. Meanwhile, you can be a fur and leather wearing dairy consuming ethical vegan. As Vegan Advocate Melanie Joy states:

If not living in perfect alignment with your values 100 percent of the time makes you a hypocrite, then yes, I’m a hypocrite. We all are. I do my best to live in accordance with my values, in a way that feels sustainable to me. And giving myself permission not to be perfect, to live a life that feels sustainable, is in accordance with my values: it is practicing compassion toward myself. I wear leather shoes that are leftover from my non-vegan days. What’s most important to me is not how “pure” I am, but how committed I am to authentically reflecting on my choices and to working toward decreasing the gap between my values and practices as I grow, over time. If we all did this, the world would be a very different place.

The purchase of a second-hand fur-coat from your local thrift store or a leather couch found in a dumpster, or the consumption of roadkill, or honey from an abandoned beehive can be considered ethically vegan, according to the definition of vegan by VeganSociety:

Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.

I am sorry, but not contributing to the suffering of animals while wearing your dads 60 year old leather coat that was handed down to you as a gift doesn’t exactly disqualify your veganism.

For instance, there is a more ethical stance on diet than veganism, and it is known as Freeganism. Freegans usually go dumpster diving for most of their food, and as a result, even if they consume dairy-based products or egg-based products foraged from the trash, they are still contributing to lesser animal suffering than vegans like myself who still harm animals and low-paid workers through the farming practices of the agricultural industry. So ethical veganism is only the most ethical diet in terms of a corporate-based viewpoint. Or as one blog puts it:

When vegans are challenged on the impact that their consumer vegan lifestyles have on the planet — the destruction to animal habitats caused by supporting agriculture, the fossil fuel burned in all stages of food production, the animals that are killed in the harvesting of grains, etc. — they typically admit that their diets are not entirely death-free, even though there are no dead animals on their plate. “But,” they will add, “at least I have less of an impact than you.”

Sure, the industrial production of vegetables, grains and beans is often deadly for insects, mammals and fish, and it’s certainly not carbon neutral, but compare the damage caused by eating these foods directly to the suffering and destruction wrought by omnivores who inefficiently funnel those grains and beans through animals first. Veganism isn’t perfect, vegans admit, but it is the best way for anyone to reduce their negative impact on the world while still surviving.

Unfortunately, this isn’t true. Freeganism would reduce their impact even more… even if they were still eating animal products. 

So you don’t have to be a huge animal advocate to help your own health or worry about the health of other human beings through the elimination of consuming or wearing animal products, and there is a health-based, environmental-based, and even economically-based reason for full-fledged veganism that is just as valid, despite a lack of an argument for the ethics consuming animal products have on animal welfare.

So in short, all those vegans out there that are bashing legitimate vegans for not being 100% based on animal ethics can suck it. The elitist and condescending view of vegans who care more about health, the environment, or are trying to save money through anti-consumer means.

What Are Toxins In Relation To Diet?

[dropcap]N[/dropcap]o, I am seriously asking, what are these toxins? Being told that you are eating a diet full of toxins is a mainstay of modern organic activists. They claim that conventional foods have pesticides and herbicides (so do organic crops) that contribute to toxins building up inside our body.

Never, not once, have I ever heard a single pro-organic activist define what a toxin really is without conflicting with everyone else, or using an extremely broad brush. We hear that toxins come from bottled water, tap water, GMO’s, cell phones, laptops, microwaves, food additives, processed foods, pesticides, etc. No explaining why, how, or any evidence that GMO’s or Tap Water literally effect humans for the worse. And there are many smoothie-pushing people yelling that we all need to “detox.” Such as people like Food Babe, who earn their living flat-out lying to people.

But what about what the science says about toxins in your body? Oh right, in the way it is used, that word isn’t even mentioned in scientific literature. You would have to check every little toxin and check all of the claims said about them against scientific literature to know if what these activists are saying is accurate or not, and let’s be honest who has that kind of time? All we know is that “Detoxing” is indeed a medical term… for people suffering with drug or alcohol addiction, or an actual chemical exposure.

According to the data, there is no evidence to show that detox diets are effective in any way. However, there is one study that showed that eating a very low calorie detox diet caused weight loss, surprise surprise!

What can one do to eliminate these “toxins” in their diet? Follow an elitist diet plan not accessible to people who have low expendable incomes for food, or have a job/little time to do all this stuff. Of this plan includes organic everything, nothing but whole-plant foods and grass-fed beef, smoothie detox shakes, relaxing in a sauna, and expensive vitamin supplementation. So for most people, even pretending this works is not a viable option.

So in terms of worrying about whether or not your couch will kill you, or whether eating a plant-based diet with a cup of tap water will cause cancer, I say not to worry about it. Because almost all of the claims touted by these “everything will kill you” precolonialists just happen to be false. Especially if they are trying to sell you actually poisonous substances like Vitamin B-17, found in apricot seeds, also known as…. Cyanide.

FDA Stops Attacking Just Mayo For Lack Of Eggs

In one of the dumbest news stories of the day, the FDA and the Egg Board decided to attack Just Mayo because it does not contain the saturated fat laiden and popular allergen: Eggs. Claiming that you can’t call something Mayo if it doesn’t contain eggs. They also debated over the use of the word “just”, which many people can believe to mean “only” and not by it’s other definition, “guided by reason, justice, and fairness.”

Thankfully this battle is over, and Just Mayo was able to keep their trademark name. The FDA writes in an email to Business Insider:

“The FDA and the company met to discuss the issues cited in the warning letter and worked together to address them. The company committed to making labeling changes to ensure its products are labeled in a manner that is truthful and not misleading,” wrote an FDA spokesperson. “Therefore, the FDA considers the issues cited in the warning letter to be resolved and will issue a close out letter soon.”

So Hampton creek has made minor changes to their logo, defining the use of the word Just, and mentioning clearly that the product is Egg-Free. The top is the old label, the bottom is the new.

hempton

just mayo

Just Mayo themselves also made a statement about this, holding no ill will towards the FDA:

Our outdated food system is the thread running through much of what’s broken—from diabetes to food deserts to the decline of our family farms. From Birmingham to Boston, folks don’t believe good food for everyone is possible. But today’s decision by a thoughtful group at our nation’s FDA proves it is possible.

And this isn’t a story about winning or losing. It’s a story about how our food system can be the thread running through much of what’s good in this world. A food system that’s healthier and stronger and more aligned with our values. A food system where the right thing is the easiest thing for a single mom working at a hair salon trying to raise two sons.

Thankfully, this is just one of many cases that has been brought up against vegan foodstuffs within the past few years, including a very similar class-action lawsuit claiming that soymilk can’t be milk, because it doesn’t come from cows. That lawsuit was thrown out for stretching a bit too far. Another lawsuit happened trying to get a Cashew Cheese maker to not use the term “Cheese” because it was not made of milk.

Looks like someone is trying to oppress the competition. And it’s not working.

Vegans Should Stop Being A-Holes To Carnists

I often see or hear about vegans that are so morally self-righteous, that instead of engaging in discussion with carnists, they cut down, mock, ridicule, and ad hominem them to oblivion.

For instance, there is a popular video on YouTube entitled “Vegan Activist DESTROYS Ignorant Reporter” where a news reporter is simply doing her job, asking questions or making statements, and being responded to, probably a bit too harshly, by vegan activist Gary Yourofsky.

I actually had a debate the other day with a vegan, who claimed that the populace are ignorant morons for not knowing complex statistics and risk analysis when it comes to health.

1452We as vegans often forget that we were once these same “ignorant morons”. For many of us, it took months, years, decades of study and research into nutrition, statistics, environmental science, correlations, and the like, to even partly understand how to properly directly read scientific literature, and find out if a methodology is flawed, or if statistics were blown up or skewed. Most people are not researchers, scientists, dietitians, most people have no degree even related in the field, so people don’t know how to even find a peer-reviewed paper, what a Relative Risk is as opposed to an Absolute Risk, or even know what Peer-reviewed, Meta-analysis, Double-blind, or Cross-sectional studies even are, or whether or not a study can be ignored due to a low sample size, low response rate, method of response, biases, or any other thing in terms of knowing anything about health research.

So we are mocking and degrading people for simply not being as educated as we slaved for hours upon hours on a near-daily basis in order to be. Other people have lives, they have families, struggles, passions, jobs, and interests, so they are simply not going to know as much as many vegans do, probably ever.

Many won’t watch Earthlings, Cowspiracy, Forks Over Knives, or any other documentary that engages in a emotionally-based topic that most Americans believe to be slanted and overblown, like The China Study, which almost no vegan I know of even talks about due to the major flaws in both the actual study, and the book. I am a vegan, and I have never watched any of those documentaries.

If some carnist is trying to debate with you, fine. engage in debate. Healthy debate is good. Or if someone is purposefully trying to warp and misrepresent data to make veganism look awful (I’m looking at you Authority Nutrition), then fine, jump on them. But claiming that all people who simply aren’t as well-versed in the scientific literature as some of us are (Many vegans are idiots when it comes to knowing the facts unless it’s been parroted by Greger or the likes, so it’s not just carnists), or people who simply don’t understand animal sentience, or animal biology, or the impacts of animal agriculture, are idiots, morons, ignorant, or the like as if someone should be shamed for not having that years of education you chose to do, is just obnoxious, and elitist.

It’s like having a well known Astrophysicist like Neil Degrasse Tyson, mock you every time you get something wrong about physics and call you an ignorant moron for not knowing. Neil would never do that, but you get my point. Of course you don’t know anything about Astrophysics, you’re not researching that topic, you are researching Nutrition, or environmentalism, etc.

Many people are raised being told that animals have no feelings, no sentience, no memory, by many people to want animals to have none of that, or are just misinformed themselves. It’s an old wives tale, and many kids are prone to believe in those. There are many books out there dedicated to dispelling health myths beaten into us by our parents, but nobody really blames you if you don’t know that Poinsettas are not poisonous, or that Vitamin C will not cure your cold.

It is this elitist and annoying attitude that has given an awful name to many vegans to the point where “Rational Vegan” sounds a bit like an oxymoron. It’s one of the many reasons why vegans are not on the rise, despite a increase in the number of people interested in plant-based meals.

No, a Vegetarian Diet Is Not Environmentally Worse Than Bacon

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]cientific America wrote an article that claimed “Bacon lovers of the world, rejoice! Or at the least take solace that your beloved pork belly may be better for the environment in terms of greenhouse gas emissions than the lettuce that accompanies it on the classic BLT.” But is this true?

Actually, not even close. The “study” in question, which is hiding behind a paywall, shows no vegetarian diet at all. The diet they show actually includes both dairy, as well as fish. Fish is not vegetarian. They focused on USDA recommendations.

“Shifting to dietary Scenario 3, which accounts for both reduced Caloric intake and a shift to the USDA recommended food mix, increases energy use by 38 %, blue water footprint by 10 %, and GHG emissions by 6 %.”

This doesn’t even make sense, taking into account that lowering meat intake also lowers crop intake. For instance, look at the example of corn:

chart 22

The amount used for animal feed far outweighs the small amount of corn that actually makes it in our stores. And if you also include a popular vegan staple: “Just over 70 percent of the soybeans grown in the United States are used for animal feed, with poultry being the number one livestock sector consuming soybeans, followed by hogs, dairy, beef and aquaculture.”

If you eliminate the need for animals, you as a result eliminate the need for all of that excess crop usage. Also, over 2.14 billion gallons of water a day goes into animal agriculture. On average about 9.1 billion animals are slaughtered every year for consumption, so for every 9.1 billion animals, meaning on average, which individual animal consumes 81 gallons of water per year. Compared to 126 billion gallons of water for crop agriculture, which means 418 gallons of water per ACRE of crops, which on a crop-by crop basis, is just a couple of gallons per Bushel, pound, etc. Much less for each individual crop.

So no, eating lettuce is not worse for the environment than eating meat.

But the study’s founder claims in an interview:

“Eating lettuce is over three times worse in greenhouse gas emissions than eating bacon, Lots of common vegetables require more resources per calorie than you would think. Eggplant, celery, and cucumbers look particularly bad when compared to pork or chicken.”

On a Calorie by Calorie basis, sure, you can claim that extremely low calorie foods, like Lettuce, Celery, and Eggplant, which have 14, 25, and 16 Calories per 100 grams respectively, look bad when compared to methane producing pork and chicken, sure. But that also ignores a few things: Nutrient content, and the fact that Vegetarians usually eat much higher calorie-dense foods.

On a Calorie for Calorie basis, eating pork might look better than eating Romaine lettuce, because pork is calorie-dense at 242 Calories per 100 grams. But Nutrition-wise, Calorie-for Calorie, Romaine Lettuce is actually more nutritious than pork.

Also, if you remember that Vegetarians eat higher calorie foods such as Grains, Beans, Nuts, Seeds, Lentils, Soybeans, and Seitan, in place of meat, instead of simply loading up on eggplant, the argument just simply shatters. A good quote actually comes from Slate:

First: Obviously, we are not replacing the meat in our diet with lettuce. Who would do that? Instead, we’re eating other protein- and nutrient-dense foods, such as grains, beans, seeds, nuts, tofu and, in my case, the occasional delicacy of chik’n nuggets. Now, I’m not saying tofu is perfect—while soy beans themselves are a highly efficient source of protein, tofu relies on many different production methods, so it’s hard to know how it stacks up. I’m saying that this study sets up a false comparison. If you took the time to actually look at a vegetarian diet, you’d think twice before suggesting that vegetarians are replacing animal protein with humongous piles of salad.

And that alone would not counteract that Vegans and vegetarians are known to be thinner, have lower rates of many diseases, as well as Vegans eating about 700 Calories less than the average carnist. Since Obesity is connected with higher Greenhouse Gas emission rate, higher food intake, and high consumption of foods that release the most potent of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere (Methane), it makes no sense that a vegetarian or vegan diet would be worse for the environment just because it contains more nutrient-rich but low-caloric foods.

The study in question that many news articles claim that the Carcinogen bacon must be good because calorie-per-calorie it produces less carbon emissions, is simply Lying With Statistics. This study also fails to take into account the environmental impacts of animal waste by-products in runoff, as well as the fact that a huge chunk of crop agriculture is used directly to feed animals that people eat. As well as the deforestation that occurs as a result of making room for this loop, along with various other issues. Such as the fact that every single case of foodbourne-illnesses such as Salmonella being directly linked to some kind of animal.

So no, being vegetarian or vegan, or eating a plant-based diet, is NOT more environmentally damaging than eating tons of animal byproducts. So those news articles that claim “In your face, vegans! Study finds lettuce is “three times worse than bacon”, vegetarian diets bad for environment” can suck it.