Burger King’s plant-based Whopper gets glowing review – from a meat lobbyist

Impossible Whopper’s realistic taste is a ‘wake-up call’ to livestock farmers, Eric Bohl of the Missouri Farm Bureau said

‘If farmers and ranchers think we can mock and dismiss these products as a passing fad, we’re kidding ourselves,” Eric Bohl of the Missouri Farm Bureau said.
 ‘This is not just another disgusting tofu burger that only a dedicated hippie could convince himself to eat,’ Eric Bohl of the Missouri Farm Bureau said. Photograph: Michael Thomas/Getty Images

A glowing review of Burger King’s new plant-based Whopper comes from an unlikely source: a senior meat industry lobbyist who admitted the surprisingly realistic taste of modern fake meats is a “wake-up call” to livestock farmers.

In a review of the Impossible Whopper, which is being trialled in 59 restaurants in the St Louis area, Eric Bohl, director of public affairs at the Missouri Farm Bureau, wrote: “If farmers and ranchers think we can mock and dismiss these products as a passing fad, we’re kidding ourselves.

“This is not just another disgusting tofu burger that only a dedicated hippie could convince himself to eat.”

Bohl went to a Burger King to compare a traditional Whopper with the vegetarian alternative made by Impossible Foods, a California company that makes plant-based substitutes. Its burger is designed to “bleed” like a conventional burger and uses genetically modified yeast to produce heme, a protein that mimics the flavor of meat.

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Admitting the differences in taste between the two burgers was “pretty minor”, Bohl said the advance of fake meats provides a looming and existential threat to the industry he represents.

“If I didn’t know what I was eating, I would have no idea it was not beef,” he wrote. “Farmers and ranchers need to take notice and get ready to compete. I’ve tasted it with my own mouth, and this fake meat is ready for prime time.”

In a follow-up post, Bohl called the new wave of cowless burgers “a wake-up call”. “This is an intense challenge to our industry and we must continue to fight,” he added.

In August, Missouri became the first state to ban products made from tofu, soy or other alternatives branding themselves as “meat”, following an outcry from livestock and poultry producers. The move was seen as part of the growing politicization of meat, as some conservatives claim that efforts to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture could lead to the banning of hamburgers.

Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, both backed by the Microsoft founder Bill Gates, are at the forefront of a push into meaty territory which aims to mimic the appearance and taste of flesh rather than making the sort of health-based vegetarian fare typically scorned by committed carnivores.

In its mission statement, Impossible Foods says: “We’re making meat using plants, so that we never have to use animals again,” citing the environmental toll of meat production, via excessive land and water use, as well as greenhouse gas emissions.

Avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your impact upon the planet, Oxford University research found last year, due to the habitat cleared for livestock and the resulting planet-warming emissions.

A Glaring Omission at the Student Climate Strike

MARCH 18, 2019 BY  — LEAVE A COMMENT

https://theirturn.net/2019/03/18/do-climate-activists-address-animal-agriculture/

The News

During the 2019 Climate Strike in NYC, hundreds of students took to the streets to demand that world leaders reverse climate change, but the absence of posters and remarks about the impact of animal agriculture suggested that these students were largely unaware of one of leading causes. During the rally and the march, TheirTurn asked several student participants if they knew about the connection between eating animal products and climate change:

“The student activists aren’t addressing the leading cause of climate change, animal agriculture, and perhaps that is because the advocacy groups for the environment haven’t made it a priority,” said Edita Birnkrant, the Executive Director of the animal advocacy group NYCLASS. “If climate activists aren’t taking the most obvious step to curb climate change, which is adopting a plant-based diet, then how can they expect the mainstream public to take action?”

Climate Strike in NYC, March 15th, 2019

During the rally before the march, Birnkrant asked Jay Inslee, the presidential candidate running on a climate change platform, if he would promote the consumption of less meat. Inslee would not make that commitment. “I’m willing to promote making sure everybody understands this connection,” he said.

Edita Birnkrant asks Jay Inslee, the 2020 presidential candidate running on a climate change platform, if he will encourage Americans to consume less meat.

While most of the Climate Strike attendees were NYC students “on strike” to demand climate action, many adults participated, some of whom were eager to help the students make the connection between animal agriculture and climate change. Among them was Paul Watson, the founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, who spoke to TheirTurn the impact of animal agriculture on the oceans:

“We’re overfishing the oceans. Forty percent of all the fish caught in the ocean is fed to pigs, chicken and domestic salmon. If we put an end to industrialized fishing, that would go a long way in allowing the ocean to repair itself. If the ocean repairs itself, we can solve this [climate change] problem because the oceans is the regulator of climate – single greatest absorption of CO2. Seventy percent of the production of the oxygen we breathe comes from phytoplankton, and we’ve diminished phytoplankton populations by about 40% since 1950. All of these issues should be addressed, but they’re not getting the attention they deserve.”

The New York Chapter of the Climate Save Movement, which advocates for an end to animal agriculture, participated in the Climate Strike

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year old climate change activist whose activism inspired the global Climate Strikes on March 15th, is vegan.  Ms. Birnkrant is hopeful that she will use her global platform to promote climate-friendly plant-based eating.

A&W to introduce Beyond Meat sausage breakfast sandwich March 11

https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/aw-beyond-meat-sausage-breakfast-sandwich-2019?fbclid=IwAR3qQ6FC8uz0j-SVW-3R704wZqT2HA66DiqKVEfLMnzYaelXyK2CMNc6EBU

Hanna McLeanFeb 27, 2019 11:23 am8,676

Holy mother of plant-based goodness, this has been one hell of a week for Canadian vegan and vegetarians for food news.

A&W is gearing up to release its newest creation next month, the Beyond Meat Sausage and Veggie breakfast sandwich.

See also

Coined as the world’s first plant-based sausage, Beyond Meat markets its uber-popular creation as a dish that “cooks, sizzles and satisfies like pork.”

Beyond Sausage has no hormones, nitrites, nitrates, soy, or gluten in its plant-based alternative.

The patty was made by Beyond Meat and isn’t even available at stores yet.

View this post on Instagram

CHANGE IS GOOD!! This morning @AWCanada made yet another exciting announcement: on March 11th, they’ll be launching a new breakfast sandwich made with the amazing @beyondmeat sausage!!! I am blown away by A&W’s innovative spirit. This new sausage patty was created by Beyond Meat just for them and isn’t yet available anywhere else in the world (see lots of vids from the launch in stories). The sausage is part of the new Beyond Meat Sausage & Egger. And, get this… rather than having to make modifications, @awcanada will be offering a fully plant-based breakfast sandwhich option on their menu called the Beyond Meat Sausage & Veggie It makes me so happy to picture Canadians from Merrit to Moncton being able to access delicious plant-based options!!!! Great job, fellow taste testers @jillian.harris @laurentoyota 🙌🏻 #sponsored

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The chain’s new breakfast sandwich will be a welcome addition to the much-loved Beyond Meat burgers that the fast-food eatery introduced last year.

You can get this highly-anticipated offering at A&W restaurants across Canada starting March 11.

ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ URGES KIDS TO SAVE THE PLANET BY DITCHING MEAT AND DAIRY

https://vegnews.com/2019/2/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-urges-kids-to-save-the-planet-by-ditching-meat-and-dairy?fbclid=IwAR0eKlGR2wQ3NhTwU3slP2TKKt0zqgLO13kGbaH_wMjp874DKlcEv05KV60

The outspoken congresswoman advised children in Queens to stick to peanut butter and bananas for breakfast, her personal favorite, as a measure to fight climate change.


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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently visited a school in Queens where a student asked the New York congresswoman her recommendations about how to combat climate change. “Skip disposable razors and switch to safety razors,” Ocasio-Cortez advised. “Give your tummy a break! Skip meat and dairy for a meal—easiest is breakfast; I do banana and peanut butter.” Ocasio-Cortez followed up with several other suggestions, telling students to shop at thrift stores, to use public transit, and to bring reusable bags on grocery shopping trips. Last month, Ocasio-Cortez took to Instagram to reveal that her favorite milk choices are plant-based varieties, stating, “I’m very into oat milk right now which, in my opinion, is the best of all the milks after cashew milk.”

We Need to Completely Change Agriculture to Adapt to Climate Change

According to a new study, we’re growing too many grains, fats, and sugars and not enough fruits, vegetables, and protein.

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/598×83/we-need-completely-change-agriculture-adapt-climate-change-food-global-warming

We’re not managing our crops to support global nutritional needs: In fact, we use a disproportionate amount of land used to grow grains, fats, oils, and sugar, and not enough land to grow the fruits and vegetables that we need to survive, a new research paper asserts.

Climate change has made it more more crucial than ever to produce food as efficiently as possible. Not only does climate change threaten the productivity of crops around the globe, but the agricultural sector is one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gases (second only to burning fossil fuels).

The researchers compared the ideal nutritional profile of a human diet with the land use and greenhouse gas emissions tied to making those foods. They found that to grow the nutrients we need for our diet, we would have to reduce the amount of land used for growing grains by 150 hectares, 105 million hectares for fats and oils, and 30 million hectares for sugars.

Meanwhile, the land given to grow fruits and vegetables would have to go up by 171 hectares. (For perspective, a hectare is 10,000 square meters.)

The researchers used the Harvard Healthy Eating Plate model as their basis of an ideal nutrition model. In doing so, they suggest that per person, we need to grow three more servings of fruits and vegetables, two more servings of protein, as well as six fewer servings of grains, and four fewer servings of sugar.

However, their recommendations don’t define how big a serving is, according to the the Harvard Nutrition Source team in the Department of Nutrition, which devised the Healthy Eating Plate system. “They [the relative section sizes] are not based on specific calorie amounts, and they are not meant to prescribe a certain number of calories or servings per day, since individuals’ calorie and nutrient needs vary based on age, gender, body size, and level of activity,” the department said in an statement.

Even so, the general narrative that we need to drastically change our food production holds up. As the world population has grown, so has the amount of greenhouse gases emitted while producing the agriculture necessary to feed everyone. From 1993 to 2013, greenhouse gas emissions due to agriculture ballooned by over a gigaton.

The paper points out that we produce enough food on an annual basis to meet the caloric needs (not nutritional needs) of every person on food. Rather, the problem we have is often poor agricultural management.

One solution is to eat less meat, says a new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a group of climate scientists working for the United Nations. But while that would obviously help us lower emissions, the researchers admit, isn’t realistic. “A complete shift to a vegetarian diet where protein comes from leguminous crops, global agriculture would need 80 million [hectacre] more arable land and 360 million [hectacre] less pasture land to feed the world’s 2050 population,” the study reads.

Since everyone giving up meat is off the table, the researchers mentioned a variety of different problem-solving approaches to make up the difference. For instance, we could improving the efficiency of livestock production by breeding animals that produce fewer greenhouse gases (cows release an inordinate amount of methane through their farts, and methane is a greenhouse gas more dangerous to the atmosphere than carbon, or restricting grazing to a smaller area of land for a shorter period of time.

The researchers also recommended increasing our reliance on alternative proteins such as fungi, algae, or insects, as well as increasing fish consumption (which comes with its own set of environmental problems, but is better in terms of greenhouse gas emissions).

The paper takes into account scientific and technological innovation, such as genetically modified organisms, that has helped us grow enough food for the global population today. The researchers assume that we’ll come up with a new technological way to increase fruit and vegetable yields 1 percent over the next 50 years—which is still a long way off from the 8 percent they suggest in order to adapt to population growth while all following a Harvard Healthy Eating Plate-appropriate diet.

“In reality, yield increases are likely to be more variable due to factors such as climate change and other unforeseen changes to the agricultural system,” the paper states. Natural disasters such as typhoons and hurricanes, for instance, which are more likely due to climate change, can have devastating effects on crop yields. This year, farmers in Florida and Georgia have lost an estimated $4 billion worth of food due to damage from Hurricane Michael.

Other experts have also argued that we should label foods in terms of their climate impact so that consumers understand the impact of their food choices.

The findings of this paper echo some of the thoughts outlined in the IPCC’s stunning 1.5 Degree Report: we need to completely rethink the way that we manage our food, transportation, government, and production if we have any hope of supporting the human population through a dire, yet optimistic climate scenario in which we only heat the world 50 percent more than we already have.

Jane Goodall and Alec Baldwin Discuss Importance of Plant-Based Diet at Global Climate Action Summit

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/jane-goodall-alec-baldwin-plant-based-diet-global-climate-action-summit/

This year’s Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco got pretty heated (no pun intended). Between California Governor Jerry Brown calling President Donald Trump a “liar, criminal, fool” and protestors rallying outside against fossil fuel extraction, despite the governor signing into law the state’s commitment to 100 percent clean energy by 2045 this week, the event was certainly not lacking in high emotion. But on a cooler note, actors Harrison Ford and Alec Baldwin and everyone’s favorite primatologist, Jane Goodall, were also present at the Summit, and Baldwin and Goodall sat down for a chat on the importance of plant-based diets in regards to forests and the fight against climate change.

And although a primatologist and an actor may seemingly have little in common, the two celebrities have one very important commonality — they are advocates for the environment and promote ditching meat for the sake of the planet.

 

 

Goodall and Baldwin both ditch meat from their diets and credit environmental concerns as reasoning for it. And they are absolutely right that eliminating animal products from your life has a humongous positive effect on not only your health and the livelihood of animals, but on the environment and world as a whole as well.

Animal agriculture is a leading contributor to climate change, being responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation sector (cars, planes, trains, etc.) combined. In fact, a recent study revealed that animal agriculture is more harmful to the environment than fossil fuel extractors like Shell and Exxon Mobil (so maybe those protestors at this year’s Summit should have been carrying anti-meat, egg, and dairy signs instead…). Going plant-based just for one year has the potential to cut your carbon footprint in HALF, while giving you a myriad of health benefits (vegan diets are free of cholesterol, antibiotics, etc. and chock-full of vitamins and nutrients) and saving the lives of so many innocent animals. If everyone adopted a plant-based diet, then yes, we could certainly meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and keep our planet’s temperature from rising those two more dangerous degrees.

To learn more about the connections between our diets and the environment, be sure to check out the fact-filled, image-rich Eat for the Planet book!

And please remember to share this with your network as a reminder that going plant-based can literally help save the world!

Image Source: eatforclimateweek/Instagram 

Commentary: Will the latest swine flu outbreak finally prompt you to go vegan?

It’s been almost a decade since swine flu first dominated the national news, causing people to panic after a pandemic that started in Mexico spread to the U.S. in 2009 and resulted in more than 274,300 hospitalizations and 12,400 deaths. (The global death toll may have been as high as 575,400.)

But just because swine flu hasn’t been making headlines as often as it once did —now only popping up when there’s a regional outbreak or when kids get sick after visiting a petting zoo —that doesn’t mean the disease has gone away or is any less of a threat.

Case in point: Swine flu recently sickened around 120 people from at least 25 states who attended a national letter carriers’ convention in Grand Rapids, Mich. Health officials say it was the same H1N1 strain that emerged in 2009 and has been circulating ever since.

In early August, an outbreak of African swine fever began spreading throughout China, where there are about 700 million pigs —half the world’s pig population. Authorities say that the virus can survive for several weeks, living in pork products, in slaughterhouses and on trucks used for transporting pigs.

An official with the U.K.’s National Pig Association says it’s only a matter of time before swine fever spreads to other countries. She admits that meat industry insiders believe “it’s not a matter of if it’s going to happen, it’s when it’s going to happen.”

Health officials are quick to point out that people can’t get swine flu or swine fever by eating pigs. But medical experts —and meat industry representatives —never really hammer home the most significant fact: Swine flu and swine fever exist primarily because humans raise pigs for food.

Swine flu is called “swine flu” for a reason —because it afflicts pigs. The virus thrives at agricultural fairs and on pig farms, where tens of thousands of pigs are crammed together in filthy, damp sheds that reek of urine and feces. Animals are usually kept on antibiotics so that they can survive the cramped, putrid conditions. They’re slaughtered on kill floors that are contaminated with feces, vomit and other bodily fluids, making it easy for the organisms that cause swine flu and other harmful diseases, like salmonella, listeria, and E. coli, to flourish.

A U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization representative once said that the “intensive industrial farming of livestock” was an “opportunity for emerging disease.” Intensive crowding and confinement are breeding grounds for pathogens, and animal-borne viruses like the ones that cause swine flu, bird flu and other illnesses can mutate into forms that sicken humans. An H3N2 swine flu strain, for example, sickened at least 145 people, mostly in Indiana and Ohio, in 2012.

People who are in close contact with pigs —or with individuals who are around pigs —are especially at risk. This summer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a report warning that pigs exhibited at fairs can infect children and other at-risk individuals with swine flu.

It should be clear by now: If we don’t want pigs or other farmed animals to be our downfall —either through animal-borne illness or food-induced heart disease, diabetes or cancer —we need to stop raising them for food and going to gawk at them in fairs and other agricultural exhibits.

We can still enjoy the taste of pork without killing pigs, because many companies offer tasty vegan versions. And if your kids like seeing pigs (who have charming personalities when you get to know them), why not watch a fun movie like “Charlotte’s Web” or “Babe”? It’s much kinder than going to an agricultural exhibit —and you definitely won’t catch swine flu by watching a talking pig plead for compassion.

Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/31/avoiding-meat-and-dairy-is-single-biggest-way-to-reduce-your-impact-on-earth

Biggest analysis to date reveals huge footprint of livestock – it provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of farmland

 Cattle at an illegal settlement in the Jamanxim National Forest, state of Para, northern Brazil, November 29, 2009. With 1,3 million hectares, the Jamanxim National Forest is today a microsm that replicates what happens in the Amazon, where thousands of hectares of land are prey of illegal woodcutters, stock breeders and gold miners. Photograph: Antonio Scorza/AFP/Getty Images

Avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet, according to the scientists behind the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet.

The new research shows that without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75% – an area equivalent to the US, China, European Union and Australia combined – and still feed the world. Loss of wild areas to agriculture is the leading cause of the current mass extinction of wildlife.

The new analysis shows that while meat and dairy provide just 18% of calories and 37% of protein, it uses the vast majority – 83% – of farmland and produces 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions. Other recent research shows 86% of all land mammals are now livestock or humans. The scientists also found that even the very lowest impact meat and dairy products still cause much more environmental harm than the least sustainable vegetable and cereal growing.

https://interactive.guim.co.uk/charts/embed/jun/2018-06-01T12:19:37/embed.html

The study, published in the journal Science, created a huge dataset based on almost 40,000 farms in 119 countries and covering 40 food products that represent 90% of all that is eaten. It assessed the full impact of these foods, from farm to fork, on land use, climate change emissions, freshwater use and water pollution (eutrophication) and air pollution (acidification).

“A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use,” said Joseph Poore, at the University of Oxford, UK, who led the research. “It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car,” he said, as these only cut greenhouse gas emissions.

“Agriculture is a sector that spans all the multitude of environmental problems,” he said. “Really it is animal products that are responsible for so much of this. Avoiding consumption of animal products delivers far better environmental benefits than trying to purchase sustainable meat and dairy.”

The analysis also revealed a huge variability between different ways of producing the same food. For example, beef cattle raised on deforested land result in 12 times more greenhouse gases and use 50 times more land than those grazing rich natural pasture. But the comparison of beef with plant protein such as peas is stark, with even the lowest impact beef responsible for six times more greenhouse gases and 36 times more land.

https://interactive.guim.co.uk/charts/embed/may/2018-05-31T10:56:47/embed.html

The large variability in environmental impact from different farms does present an opportunity for reducing the harm, Poore said, without needing the global population to become vegan. If the most harmful half of meat and dairy production was replaced by plant-based food, this still delivers about two-thirds of the benefits of getting rid of all meat and dairy production.

Cutting the environmental impact of farming is not easy, Poore warned: “There are over 570m farms all of which need slightly different ways to reduce their impact. It is an [environmental] challenge like no other sector of the economy.” But he said at least $500bn is spent every year on agricultural subsidies, and probably much more: “There is a lot of money there to do something really good with.”

Labels that reveal the impact of products would be a good start, so consumers could choose the least damaging options, he said, but subsidies for sustainable and healthy foods and taxes on meat and dairy will probably also be necessary.

One surprise from the work was the large impact of freshwater fish farming, which provides two-thirds of such fish in Asia and 96% in Europe, and was thought to be relatively environmentally friendly. “You get all these fish depositing excreta and unconsumed feed down to the bottom of the pond, where there is barely any oxygen, making it the perfect environment for methane production,” a potent greenhouse gas, Poore said.

The research also found grass-fed beef, thought to be relatively low impact, was still responsible for much higher impacts than plant-based food. “Converting grass into [meat] is like converting coal to energy. It comes with an immense cost in emissions,” Poore said.

The new research has received strong praise from other food experts. Prof Gidon Eshel, at Bard College, US, said: “I was awestruck. It is really important, sound, ambitious, revealing and beautifully done.”

He said previous work on quantifying farming’s impacts, including his own, had taken a top-down approach using national level data, but the new work used a bottom-up approach, with farm-by-farm data. “It is very reassuring to see they yield essentially the same results. But the new work has very many important details that are profoundly revealing.”

Prof Tim Benton, at the University of Leeds, UK, said: “This is an immensely useful study. It brings together a huge amount of data and that makes its conclusions much more robust. The way we produce food, consume and waste food is unsustainable from a planetary perspective. Given the global obesity crisis, changing diets – eating less livestock produce and more vegetables and fruit – has the potential to make both us and the planet healthier.”

Dr Peter Alexander, at the University of Edinburgh, UK, was also impressed but noted: “There may be environmental benefits, eg for biodiversity, from sustainably managed grazing and increasing animal product consumption may improve nutrition for some of the poorest globally. My personal opinion is we should interpret these results not as the need to become vegan overnight, but rather to moderate our [meat] consumption.”

Poore said: “The reason I started this project was to understand if there were sustainable animal producers out there. But I have stopped consuming animal products over the last four years of this project. These impacts are not necessary to sustain our current way of life. The question is how much can we reduce them and the answer is a lot.”

Animal activists disrupt Utah governor’s turkey pardon

A Libertarian Vegan View of Trump and the Elephants – Freedom Philosophy
https://beinglibertarian.com/libertarian-vegan-view-trump-elephants-freedom-philosophy/
“Three and a half years ago my life was tumultuous. A friend suggested
yoga for health and peace of mind. Since the guy-to-girl ratio was in
my favour, I immediately signed up.
“Being obsessive-compulsive, I started looking into the philosophy
behind it and adopted portions of it.
“One of the ethical dictates is harmonious living, applying the
non-aggression principle to animals implies not causing them pain. In
short, I became a vegan (less than 30 seconds into you reading the
article, I managed to get that in there).
“About a year later, the obnoxious guy from The Apprentice rode down
an escalator. He campaigned on banning Muslims, deficit spending,
killing civilians in the Middle East, diminishing free trade, and he
called Mexicans crossing the border criminals, rapists, and drug
dealers.
“Not being one to stay silent, I began blogging about what a lunatic
this guy is, which ultimately led me to Being Libertarian.
“All of this is to say that, as a vegan and prolific anti-Trump
blogger, I am comfortable saying that the majority of individuals
upset about lifting the elephant-trophy ban are engaging in vacuous
nonsense. It’s the height of virtue signaling to post a picture of
one’s lunch – a bacon wrapped steak – only to go on and post a link to
Trump’s animal cruelty.
“It’s the leftists who demand more resources for the poor; while an
analysis of their tax returns indicates a pronounced lack of charity
on their part. They’re perfectly generous with everyone’s money except
their own.
“These same people will demand others stop animal cruelty but not lift
a finger to end their own.”

Animal activists disrupt Utah governor’s turkey pardon
http://www.wacotrib.com/news/ap_nation/animal-activists-disrupt-utah-governor-s-turkey-pardon/article_0c6a0b0c-e160-5a7a-ad0e-f4bea12e5516.html
“SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Two animal-rights activists disrupted the Utah
governor’s Thanksgiving pardoning of a turkey Tuesday, rushing the
podium and shouting as the CEO of a turkey plant spoke to a crowd of
mostly children.”

“Video from KUTV showed Herbert’s security detail restrained the men
and state troopers escorted them away from the afternoon ceremony in
Salt Lake City.
“Utah Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Todd Royce said the two
unidentified men were not arrested but cooperated with troopers and
left the Capitol.”

Death threats follow local vegan’s Facebook post about Vegas shootings

http://www.timesleader.com/news/local/677746/death-threats-follow-vegans-facebook-post-about-vegas-shootings
By Bill O’Boyle – boboyle@timesleader.com | October 5th, 2017 3:39 pm

WILKES-BARRE — The Mother Nature Vegan Cuisine food truck is no more and its owner finds herself in the middle of a firestorm for insensitive comments about the people killed in the Las Vegas massacre.

Delinda Jensen, 60, has received death threats after posting this Facebook comment: “Yes I am jaded. Fifty nine meat eaters dead. How many animals will live because of this?”

She then made a comment under the post that said: “I don’t give a (expletive) about carnists anymore.”

Jensen, a former adjunct history professor at Marywood University, said Thursday she is living in fear since her post set off an intense backlash on social media earlier this week.

She is out of business and her bright green food truck is in a secret storage area.

“I (expletive) up,” Jensen said while sitting at her kitchen table with son and business partner, Kyle, 28. “Was it poorly written? Absolutely. Do I regret it? Yes. I am so sorry I wrote that.”

Many Facebook users shared Jensen’s post, which generated hundreds of hate-filled comments and threats and little defense of her stance.

Jensen emphatically insisted she was not happy about the death of 59 people.

“Meat eaters or not, no one deserves to die like that,” Jensen said. “I wasn’t celebrating the death of those people. That’s not how vegans think — we are non-violent.”

In trying to explain her motivation for writing the post, Jensen wanted to make the point that too many animals are tortured and killed every year — she estimated 2o billion-plus — and consumed by humans. Jensen, who became a vegan two years ago, said people can eat good food without the inhumanity of abusing and killing innocent animals. She said one vegan translates to saving 155 animals per year.

Since Jensen’s post went up late Monday, she said she has received hundreds of abusive comments, phone calls and even death threats. She and Kyle said they had to install a security camera system for protection. Kyle said many vehicles have driven by their Mill Street home in Wilkes-Barre — with people shouting obscenities and threats. The Jensens said they had to call police several times because they feared for their safety.

‘Lynch mob forming’

Jensen deactivated her Facebook account, but not before her post was shared countless times, causing a nationwide controversy. Jensen said she was told that someone even contacted media outlets in Las Vegas to inform them of her post.

“It’s almost like a lynch mob is forming,” said Jensen. “It’s seems that it’s no longer about the Facebook post — now it’s about eating meat.”

Jensen is angry at herself for what she called “a moment of stupidity.” She felt her vegan business was doing good for people, giving them a healthy alternative. Jensen would bring her truck to Public Square on Mondays and it was very popular.

“We even gave food to the homeless for free,” she said.

But now, “We’re done. We canceled all of our booked events. We had a really good product, too.”

If she could, she would contact the families of all the Las Vegas victims to personally apologize. Instead, as she deals with the loss of her business and a steady stream of harsh criticism, she’s afraid to leave her home.

“There’s just so much visceral hate out there,” she said.

In addition to clearing their Facebook accounts, Jensen and her son have deactivated all of their electronic devices.

Jensen said she asked Kyle’s friends to go out and buy some paint so she could pass the time painting the walls and ceilings in her home.

“It will be like therapy,” she said. “I have nothing else to do right now. I have no avenue to apologize. I can’t even think of going back on Facebook.”

‘We are not bad people’

Jensen said she has no idea where she goes from here — she doesn’t know how she will earn a living.

“I’ll just take it one day at a time,” she said. “I understand the tragedies of history — there’s never anything to celebrate. I never once felt ‘Yay, yippee, 59 people are dead.’”

Jensen knows what it’s like to lose a loved one — her husband committed suicide.

In the past few days, she and her son have gotten a real sample of the inhumanity and hate in the world. She said people driving by her home have shouted all sorts of horrible things — profanity, threats — and they have attacked her for being a vegan.

“We are not bad people,” she said. “We are aware that there are people on social media who have been trying to organize groups to come after us.”

So at night, Jensen and her son lock all the doors and turn out the lights. They leave porch lights on so security cameras can record anyone trying to get near them.

“I did write an apology on Facebook right after the post went up,” Jensen said. “It didn’t matter. People were already running with it.”

Kyle, who has a degree in culinary arts, is sure he will find another job.

“I’m not mad at my mom,” he said. “We are a family. We’ve been through a lot. But people have destroyed our business.”

Jensen always knew people could be nasty, but never to this level.

“This was our life and now it’s gone,” she said. “I’m so scared to go out anywhere.”