living underground in the real world

vegetarians are to vegans as liberals are to radicals (also: why I might soon be donating money to Sarah Palin.)

pretty sure i've already used this photo.

useless.

annoying.

ick.

That’s what I’ve been thinking about lately. How annoying vegetarians are. Not only do they make it seem like eating some animal products is OK to society at large, but isn’t there something horrid about eating animal products from animals who are kept alive to produce yet more animal products, and are thus sentenced to live in misery longer? Fuck vegetarians. Who wants to join the “vegans against vegetarians” club with me?

These photos are not a recreation of the events I am about to describe, they're a recreation of an event whereupon I didn't realize I was brandishing a knife at a customer until later. Hmm.

(Thanks to James Felice for playing the part of Customer in the photos above.)

To completely switch topics and go far, far to the other side, the dude who killed the pig mentioned two posts ago came into the shop tonight.

It did not go well.

I perhaps didn’t start the conversation out well, to be honest. I overheard across the kitchen (honestly, gentle reader, I shouldn’t even have been at work. It was my quote unquote day off. But I was there as always, and Maresa was helping him and I should have just let things be, but instead….) that he was from Tweefontein Herb Farm (aka Hog Butcher for the World) and I bounded across the kitchen and said, “UM HELLO. YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE.”

[I just want to say before we even begin that I am so angry at myself for my actions tonight that I just spent two hours in bed crying, drinking wine, texting Jacob that I’m horrible, contemplating suicide, and, finally, cheering up because this dog video made me, quite literally, lol until I cried again. I recreate the scene now only to commit to pixels my transgressions.

And also because I was right, and though my behavior was wrong, my motives were not.]

After some getting-to-know-each other banter (“Did you have the pig roast?” “What?…oh…you’re…oh……..” “DID YOU HAVE THE PIG ROAST?”) we had a calm discussion about murderers.

I’m sure you will be completely surprised to learn the following facts:

-He was super calm in the way that slow-foodies/happy meaters are sometimes infuriatingly calm because they all go to yoga or something and believe that if you are in the right you can afford to keep your temper or SOME FUCKING BULLSHIT LIKE THAT. I, on the other hand, cannot afford to be calm because there are people out there who think that killing animals for no reason whatsoever is perfectly fine. 

-He calmly tried to tell me that I’m not perfect. I calmly (if your interpretation of “calmly” is: with a rising rage) stated that I was aware that I was not perfect. He started babbling about how, like, using technology uses fossil fuels or something in order to show this. I reiterated that of course I was imperfect, but AT LEAST I TRY. At least I do not uselessly murder animals. At this point my friend Rick walked in and boomed (he’s a booming sort of guy) I do more good in this world than most anyone he knows or something, which was sweet, and kind, and fucking true.

-He kindly felt the need to inform me that he was the one to murder the pig. BUT DO NOT WORRY, GENTLE READER. He did it in a very “mindful” way, and it was a very “powerful experience.” For the pig, no doubt, it was powerful.

At this point I said in a very, ah, powerful way, that “THIS DISCUSSION IS OVER. THIS IS MY SHOP, GOODBYE.”

And he left, taking the chocolate bar he’d bought (sigh, goodbye, customer!) with him.

And I, ah, helped the other customer who was in there while Maresa helped another person.

YEP.

My ultimate fear happened tonight: not only did I lose my temper in the shop, but I lost it while innocent bystanders were there.

Lest you’re thinking maybe they didn’t notice, please know that the shop is 200 square feet. They noticed. One of them giggled through the whole thing, and the other one was strangely (or, not strangely) quiet.

I can’t even tell you how awful I felt about the whole thing, and still feel—not awful for yelling at the guy, but awful because it happened at the shop. The shop is my child, and like any mother I’ll do anything to keep it alive. And like any mother what I mostly need to watch for is saving it from my own insanities.

So some time passed, and Maresa and I, who chatterbox all day long, weren’t really chattering to each other. I was lost in a goddamn canyon of rage-guilt that barely allowed me to talk, and I could feel Maresa’s sadness for me, and her own annoyance at the whole thing. It’s no fun to have an insane boss/BFF. We’ve all had them. No good. After a while we unfroze a bit, and talked, and Maresa gently told me exactly what I’d been telling myself: we’re going to get a reputation, other people were in the shop, yep yep yep.

And then we started talking about fur. It’s coming, I know it: people wearing fur into the shop. So let’s talk about it, OK?

Right now I have this tiny little sign on the window:

Cute, no? (And do I get a prize for using all my powers of restraint and not throwing in a “masturbation” rhyme?)

But it’s not going to stop women who want to wear the dried up bodies of anally-electrocuted-to-death animals into my pacifist (except for when I verbally punch people) shop. Nope. So Maresa and I had an honest talk about it tonight: the truth is, we decided, fur-wearers are exactly who we want in the shop. Uptight richies who probably hate the idea of veganism–that’s why we exist! Give us all your money, and we’ll give you chocolates that will turn your mind around about veganism!

So the need to shut up about the fur becomes paramount. I decided when I opened the shop that it was stealth activism, and I need to stick to that. The world has been making me so angry now (since I interact with it so much more now, because of the shop), that I keep wanting to go back on that and line up my cans of red paint, but I might just need to write more blog posts like this instead.

When it comes to preventing anger, I only have one proven technique: negative consequences that are as devastatingly sickening as the rage is devastatingly addicting.

I learned about this technique from RadioLab, and, for serious, it works. Earlier this summer I wanted to stay off Facebook for a week, and I told myself (and everyone in my life, and on Facebook), that if I was on it during the week I had to donate $50 to Mitt Romney. Not difficult at all! My fingers didn’t so much as type an “f” without checking to make sure I wasn’t accidentally on the damn site.

Thus, I present to you, the Great Fur-Anger Management Plan of 2011, in three acts:

1) I will keep the tiny sign above on the window. However, if a fur-wearer enters the shop, I will not get angry at them, or engage them in any sort of anal-electrocution-related topic at all.

2) HOWEVER! I will order some fun and graphic anti-fur fliers, and all fur-wearers will receive their chocolatey items in a bag, with a fur flier discreetly slipped into it. (This is to throw me a bone, as it were, since I can’t just let that shit go completely.)

3) Even if the fur-wearer returns to the shop and is angry about the flier, I may not get angry at them.

Failure to follow any of these rules will result in me publicly donating $100 to Sarah Palin–as proof, I will need to show both the check and proof of its having been cashed to Maresa.

Yep.

Hardcore.

Now, I’ve got a question for you. In discussing this tonight, Maresa brought up that not only do we allow our customers to wear leather in the shop, but we ourselves are awful awful vegans who wear Salvation Army leather shoes (shall I let the hate mail come pouring in again? Haters, bring it on!) and whatnot, and is fur really all that different? To me, it seems different, but I can’t exactly put my finger on why. Maybe because it’s just so ostentatious. What sayst thou, darling reader of mine?

OK. So that was today.

Election stuff happened too, but I won’t get into that now.

And now, I’m off to answer the 50 emails I was supposed to answer tonight instead of laying in bed worrying about how my insides are made of fire all the time and whether or not that fire will someday burn me up.

OH WAIT! But first, to temper the ridiculousness of this post, want to see two photos of me looking awesome?

PHOTO NUMBER ONE OF ME LOOKING AWESOME

(even wearing a bra!!! visibly!!!!)

PHOTO NUMBER TWO OF ME LOOKING AWESOME

Love to you and yours, particularly and primarily if that includes cute puppies,

lagusta

PS: If this post makes no sense, it’s because I’m drunk.

xoxo

l

39 Responses to “vegetarians are to vegans as liberals are to radicals (also: why I might soon be donating money to Sarah Palin.)”

  1. adriennefriend

    1) You’re the most gorgeous woman in the world! Seriously. How are you so beautiful?

    2) I plan on reading this post several times as always.

    3) Your Sarah Palin plan is delightful.

    4) I’m so sorry you had such a rough evening.

    5) I’m glad you’re still going to do direct activism with the fur-wearers through postcards. When you started the paragraph about wanting to sell to richies I worried that it would mean making no issue at all. Because I definitely take issue with taking asshole money for the sake of spreading veganism quietly & gently – I just don’t see any point or integrity in that. On my blog and facebook I am still a kind, gentle jerk – I want people know my politics. It’s the postcard route I guess. Besides, I’m too afraid to yell at anyone. I hope that made sense?

    6) The proclamation is PERFECT. Did you write it?

    7) Makeup. brands. types. colors. Share.

    8) Also I am totally on the secretly loathing vegetarianism but it’s secret BECAUSE most vegans I know were vegetarian at some point and I am trying to remind myself that we’re all in PROCESS, that all of existence is movement and as long as people I love are moving TOWARDS total veganism I don’t need to be an ass when they’re eating cheese every once in a while. But (little to) no love for those who wallow in vegetarianism as an uncomplicated endpoint.

    9) If this comment makes no sense, it’s because I’m coming off the worst headcold in years.

    Reply
    • lagusta

      Thanks, sweetie!

      MAKEUP! OK, I do have some Lush pink lipgloss I love, I’ll admit that. The eye makeup looks blue in that photo but that must be iPhone magic–it’s just some cheapo black eyeliner pencil that half the time makes me look like Rocky Raccoon.

      Yeah, I know in my heart of hearts that vegetarians are not the enemy…but…grrr!

      Feel better!!

      Reply
  2. indialeigh

    You make me laugh, you always do when you speak to that part inside me that wants to scream at the people that call themselves ‘animal lovers’ when they happily/thoughtlessly eat meat whilst thinking themselves pretty angelic for having a dog (and feeding it shit food and chocolate and saying it is a ‘treat’ for their little fluffywoo and then the poor animal having to go on a fucking diet or have surgery because of the shit they feed them…or the zoo keepers that feed wild animals buns, cakes and biscuits to let them know they love them or deliver the drugs they need to give them to ward off the diseases they get for being kept in a fucking cage! argh!!!!. I keep this all inside though, 1) because I am a wimp and hate conflict and I also do not have faith that I will not loose it and become inarticulate and give the person to whom I direct my rant the amunition to ignore what I said, take the focus off their outrageous behaviour and only focus on my rage thus loosing the chance to open their mind to their action 2) I once ate meat, thought it was ok to eat ‘ugly’ animals (I left the pretty lambs alone) (p.s I now see all animals are beautiful beyond measure) and literally could not see what I was doing, it was a slow opening process for me and one I knew in the back of my mind was right. My knowledge and education grew as I started listening to MY voice and not the voice of the masses and I found my self in situations/places that promoted vegan eating and compassionate living. I was blind and now I see. Perhaps somepeople need a short sharp shock to open them up perhaps others need indulgent, luxury vegan food, clothing or toiletries to help them to see that kindness to animals does not equal austerity for themselves. When we give something up, we need to have something to replace it (nature abores a vaccumn) otherwise it is too scary.

    In the Western world, as far as I have seen, life goes like this…radical arty people who are alive, interestnig and at the cutting edge attract the people (masses) who know deep inside there is more to life..more the THEM and so they flock to follow them. You see it in the way that the artists move into down beat areas, they transform the place with life and orginality and then Mr & Mrs Average want a piece of the action and move in to absorb the creativity, the first come get first served before it gets diluted, the arty revolutionaries move on to enlighten and rouse another area to wakefulness.

    I admire you. You have a shop that sells your beliefs in delicousness. You speak out, take action. If you weren’t already doing 16 hour days I’d say put all that energy and love into a life changing book. Hey, could you make activist fortune cookies, or write a book of chocolate recipes that rouses compassion for ALL animals by highlighting that ALL animals feel, love, grieve etc? Who knows…sometimes shouting is the ONLY way to get through to people. I don’t have the answers. We can only do ALL that we think is right in that moment. Perhaps PIG man will surprise you and come in and apologise to YOU. The animals say THANK YOU, as do your customers I’m sure, and fair trade suppliers that you help to keep them doing the right thing too.

    Reply
  3. Dustin

    I think, if anything, you should stop being so hard on yourself for speaking the truth — even if you think it’s rude; even if you think you think it’s alienating. Heck, even if others tell you it’s both.

    What grosses ME out (and makes me irrationally mad) is how we’re all supposed to be ridiculously nice and polite, prim and proper, at all times, and when we dare express rage over the state of the world, people are vilified, dismissed as crazy; seen as jerks. There’s something wrong with that too. Our culture — all obsessed with jesus, platitudes and insincere politeness — is sick; our culture is exhausting, maddening.

    I am full of rage too, a whole lot of the time, but unlike you I don’t often express it. Does that make me a better person? F**** no. It makes me a wimp.

    You, however, are a breath of fresh air.

    That is why I admire you so very much.

    Don’t ever stop being you. Just stop beating yourself up for it.

    xoxoxox

    Reply
    • Meghan

      I’ll second that emotion.

      I’m not really sure when being open-minded started to mean that treating every opinion as equally valid without regard for things like facts and logic, but it’s stupid and actually really dangerous. Plus it discourages calm, rational discussion because it implies that wanting to think a certain way means never having to engage critically with the world around you. Rage-making stuff.

      I’m insanely confrontation-averse which often leaves me feeling pretty icky and vaguely weaselly.

      Good luck finding the middle ground and in the meantime, be proud of yourself for fully alive and present in the world even if it gets messy sometimes.

      Reply
    • indialeigh

      Very well said Dustin. I too am exhausted by people not saying what they mean (me included) or for speaking up (in love and respect for the other person). We all have blind spots (maybe), and wouldn’t society be great if we stopped thinking we are separate. When I tell people stuff honestly, to help them, and say/intend it in the nicest way, I feel crap about it. it is all (a polite colloquisim follows) arse about face. i.e the wrong way around. It is worse in the UK. People would let you walk around with dirt on your face or your zipper undone rather than cause ‘offense’! My relationships suffer because some of my loved ones refuse to be honest or hold themselves back, or cannot trust in love enought that to have a good debate and verbal thrashing out of ideas would result in a slanging match, rather than the more adult outcome of bringing more understanding. It often makes me want to live far away from the maddening crowd and ‘polite’ (passive agressive) society.

      I try and say/help as much as I can but, though I’ve been attacked (verbally) and avoided for being vegan, I cannot bring myself (yet) to stop being ‘nice’ and not say anything to people who eat meat, drop litter, don’t smile, tell you when you do something good (just a few of my pet hates). I think it is because I was that person years ago. For now the only way i know how is to demonstrate on my website how amazing vegan food is. Lagusta, you blaze a trail! I hope you find v.soon a way to express yourself and not come off the worse for it. I pray to the chocolate Gods that you find a solution pronto.

      Reply
      • Dustin

        Oh, goddess: I cannot count how many times — it’s endless !!!! — that I keep my mouth shut about the whole vegan thing, and largely it’s because I have fallen prey to the mantra that’s constantly hurled at vegans: “well, you used to eat meat, so STFU.” Also, it actually IS TRUE that people are more interested in veganism when it’s presented (or, rather, not presented at all?) as a non-issue. In other words, I find that just living my life and not always being “an advocate” is actually pretty effective advocacy. Go figure!? Which supports this whole notion that pisses me off: that we have to always play nice and swallow our rage and be (or feel?) wholly inauthentic in order to be taken seriously.

      • indialeigh

        I hear you Duistin. Perhaps if we all ‘raged’ it would be too easy for them to label us as loonies. BUT, sometimes, the Lagusta’s of this world, cause the explosion/outrage to be looked at and talked about. Conversation, debate CAN (and WILL) change the world. I see the future and it is meatless, compassionate, open and connected. Perhaps the way we act is the right way for ‘us’….Lagusta ‘n’ all. I do have to laugh at the way I was villified by my family as ‘the weird one’, for not eating meat, taking around a tiny box tin of green tea (before most knew what it was), chucking out the chemical laden toiletries and cleaning agents etc.. and NOW they are ALL doing it. The shelves are packed with ‘green’ healthy stuff and it is BANG ON TREND as they say. VEGANISM WILLL go this way too. Statistically we are becoming a more compassionate peaceful world (hard too believe sometimes) but I’ve seen the facts and THE LONG PEACE has been proclaimed (it’s true…I heard it at a lecture by a Harvard man – Stephen Pinker). Let’s hope the media start an uprising in postive news and start reporting the truth of it. Much respect to you Dustin for all you do..and Lagusta…(applause)

  4. lagusta

    I agree that I need to stay mad at idiots and not have patience for their ridiculousnesses, but it was the WAY I get mad that makes me upset, ya know?

    Man oh man I love you blog friends though!

    Reply
  5. Randal Putnam

    Ah, friend! You live in a small town. If you are going to earn a reputation, you’ve most certainly already. Still customers come. This isn’t a reason to increase in frequency or intensity this variety of interaction, but it is a reason to not worry much about it when it comes up. That said, I’d focus some on the way it makes you feel. Shaken and more angry? My hope is that you can find a way to express your love of animals in a way that leaves you feeling good. You have so much love for animals that you can afford to allocate some of it to yourself. You deserve it.

    Reply
    • lagusta

      Yeah, exactly. It makes me feel shitty because I couldn’t find a more productive way to express my thoughts. Word on the street (i.e., friends of friends) is that the guy who came into the shop and the other farmers at his farm are bewildered by my rage, still think of me as an ally, and are just generally confused about why they, as people who have ostensibly devoted their lives to remaking our food system, are being treated so terribly by a fellow food activist.

      This, of course, makes me much more ragey, and actually happy I expressed my rage at the guy who came into the shop, because it’s important for me that meat eaters feel ashamed, cowed, and understand that what they are doing will not be tolerated in polite society. The fact that they don’t understand that anyone could be *more* angry at them (as thinking people want to kill a pig in a “sustainable” way) than at an unthinking lemming who buys hot dogs because they’re easy is ludicrous.

      If you don’t understand where rage at murder comes from, what can I do with you, you know?
      BACK TO YOUR POINT: I like what’s behind the rage (the love for other beings, as you point out), I just need to not let it hurt *me* so much. Yep yep yep.

      Reply
      • Randal Putnam

        Sure is nice to see all the thoughtful comments here. You have a strong support system!

        I am very happy to hear that with time you feel good about your actions. Maybe remember this experience when it happens next time and you won’t have to suffer the short-term regrets.

        I’ll bet the butcher isn’t genuinely confused by your rage. It is just hard for him to admit that the system he is supporting is based on premeditated murder. He is constructing a reality in which you and he are buddies fighting to save the world so that he doesn’t have to feel what you are saying and doesn’t have to admit that his direction is morally “unsustainable.” I did that for most of my life. As a kid, I killed fish I’d caught. It was hard the first time and every time thereafter, but I enjoyed fishing and that’s what I was taught to do with fish I caught. For a much longer period, I cooked animals others killed. It was always a little sad and gross, but I got used to it.

        I had/have vegetarian friends, but it took me years to see the benefit and take that up. Then Lacey wanted us to go vegan. She presented all the right arguments (and who should I trust and support more than my loving companera?), but still I refused for years. Then one day I woke up and stopped the nonsense. My awakening came after reading a book, but all of my experiences together were surely at work (my love of animals, the examples set by my vegetarian friends and the gentle pushes from my very compassionate and awake wife).

        No one ever yelled at me for eating animals. If I had met you and been hollered at by you before I went vegan (maybe carrying a fishing pole into your shop), I might have made the switch on the spot! That’s my hope anyway. Doesn’t sound like the butcher woke up after you hollered at him, but I can assure you he will remember it. We don’t know whether or when he will wake up, but if he does you can bet your actions will have played a part in it. Keep up the good work (in a way that doesn’t tear you apart in the process).

  6. Bettina

    Hey vegans,

    Do you think that because you’re right and other people are wrong that it’s ok to make them feel bad about themselves? And this is a sincere question.

    I’m a vegetarian, and I’ve tried being vegan. I have my own personal journey, which I won’t go into here, but suffice it to say that I see things from both sides.

    When I feel strongly judged by vegans, it feels like high school again, and I’m definitely not with the ‘in’ clique. I understand that you like to keep to your own so that you don’t have to deal with the likes of me, but that contempt and judgment doesn’t make me want to be a part of the militant vegan crowd.

    Do vegans sincerely feel that you’re a better person than vegetarians because you can walk your talk better than I can? Fine, your will is stronger, your morals finer. But I am trying. Does that make it right to be rude to me as a human being? That kind of judgment seems so…I dunno, fundamentalist.

    I understand that vegans are right–educate people with your chocolates and your flyers. But when there’s no dialogue and just rage, how are meat eaters / vegetarians supposed to feel? Maybe you can justify that since my hurt feelings may be ‘less’ important than the imprisoned cows and chickens, but I don’t think that’s how you can best support the change you want to see. And making people feel guilty / bad about themselves just makes people not want to think about things.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      Bettina,

      I think many things you write here are essentially correct and true. And, IMHO, it’s the best, if not only, argument for being the nicest vegans possible.

      But please do understand: there are a gazillion omnivores out there who very much work against any and all goodness in the world — vegan or not — so while what you are saying is true, it’s not the whole story. I was never, ever in my whole life the kind of raging asshole I encounter –>all the freaking time<– in the line of work I do (animal advocacy). I was never a jerk to vegans when I wasn't vegan; in fact, I knew veganism was correct, on many levels, several years before I actually became one.

      Also, I am not a vegan who only has other vegans as friends. Indeed, I myself find quite a few vegans completely intolerable and awful, and sometimes I am embarrassed by some of the people whose very side I stand on. But I digress. I am only trying to say: that's not how I judge people. [I just loathe people who love jesus].

      The implication in your above post, however, is based on plenty of stereotypes about vegans — a lot of which I haven't found to be true. I don't meet many — if any — vegans who think they are morally superior to anyone. If anything, a lot of us feel like veganism as a consumer activity isn't very much — it's more of "it's the least I can do" kind of approach to tackling the ills of the world. That's exactly how I feel: I don't think veganism solves the world's problems; it's only a start. A good one, however. Yes, it's a bit of a sacrifice sometimes. A pain in the ass. I don't think it makes me perfect or interesting or especially ethical. Like I said, it's a starting point. That's it.

      Oh, and fewer animals are tortured, dominated and exploited because of it.

      Dustin

      Reply
      • indialeigh

        Dear Bettina,

        I agree with most of what Dustin said (he is far more eloquent than I). Most vegans are humble creatures, as are most () put anything in the box. We are all trying our best. 99% of the vegans I know (note, I also have lots of non-vegan friends who I adore) suffer from carnivores being unkind (this is usually a defensive action total unprompted by them) but we still carry on because it just doesn’t feel right to harm animals. I am not part of any clique, far from it i feel an outsider more often than not. Meat eating is a clique, drinking alcohol etc. ALL clique’s and still, sadly, we don’t all feel connected to one another. Some carnivores also run great charities or help others, or run businesses that employ people or are great fathers or mothers who devote their love and energy to their children. It feels good to do something we believe is good, that is not being smug, it is just saying we all want to feel like we can be loving in some way, whatever or however that maybe. We all want the world to be a happy harmonious place to be and not just now but in all of our futures. And we do need people that open our eyes and help us to see it can be another way (humans have believed many things to be right…like the world was balanced on top of the backs or turtles and one person stood up and said they different) We’ve waived goodbye to cannibalism, slavery, world wars on a massive scale, we no longer duel in the streets or any other hideous act that once was ‘normal’ in the past and we now see as insanity. We are all working to see crime against humanity, environment, animals, ourselves to be well and truly in the past. If someone just goes meatless on a Monday then, hey…it helps.

      • lagusta

        I second 100% everything Dustin said (as per usual).

        My short answer to this is:
        “Do you think that because you’re right and other people are wrong that it’s ok to make them feel bad about themselves? And this is a sincere question.”
        In general: totes.

        Specifically toward people who are trying and are doing what they can (i.e., you!): of course not.

        I have scads of not vegan or veggie friends. ****What matters to me is that people are trying.**** These annoying farmers are not trying. Thus: I want to make them cry.

        I also second the motion that most vegans are CRAZY ANNOYING.

  7. Bettina

    I was thinking about this today, and I have a new analogy to test on you: vegetarians are to vegans as straight-looking bisexuals are to queers! No one takes us as their own–not the omnivores, not the vegans!

    I’m just advocating against being mean in general, whether you feel like that person deserves it or not. Let’s just be the nicest possible, period, no matter what else we stand for / identify with.

    And the trouble I got into with Dustin by stereotyping vegans is that maybe I meant Lagusta and one other vegan I know. But I was too shy to name names, since…well, I like Lagusta the way she is, even if I wonder if she’d secretly wield a knife to a stand-in for me should I show up in the shop! I mean that really good-naturedly–or why else would I keep reading the blog and supporting Lagusta when I can?

    And thanks indialeight–meateating is a clique! And so is drinking alcohol. Yes yes yes. And yes to being loving where we can, when we can, to whom we can.

    There’s a stripe of purism in certain vegan circles whose blogs I see / businesses I consider patronizing that creep me out–with taglines like ‘avenging animals’ or ‘absolute vegan empire’. I see this more in the raw vegan community or vegan lifestyle businesses, even though this isn’t maybe the place for that. In everything I’ve learned, I know that such either/or thinking that excludes people based on just one thing can be dangerous.

    Anyways, Lagusta–how would you know if someone walks in with a fur coat if it’s real or not???

    Reply
    • lagusta

      Ha! I love your new analogy.
      I agree not being mean is a good strategy…it’s the goal of my life, for sure. I fail a lot, that’s for sure.
      I promise not to cut you if you ever come into the shop!!
      Yeah, RAW VEGANS! A cult, if there ever was one. A bonkers one, in my opinion, but you know, whatever works! (Insert rant about how terrible raw “chocolate” is here…)
      And yes, fur coats–very good question. I don’t know the answer. I hear there are a lot of good fakes out there these days…well, I’ll report back when the fur coats start rollin’ in!

      Reply
  8. Zoe P.

    OK. A *little* off-topic, but I was reading this post yesterday and yesterday I also noticed, for the first time, even though it’s been months (or more?) the optical illusion in Lagusta’s logo. And yes, it’s true, now I cannot un-see it.

    Reply
    • lagusta

      I love it when people don’t see it! It’s so rad when they finally do. My mom is still confused about it.

      Reply
  9. Stephanie

    As a vegan who laughed out loud at Lagusta’s contempt for vegetarians, I was thinking about the people I have met who state proudly that they are vegetarian and they have done their service, especially when supporting locally-raised, organic eggs and dairy products. Somehow it doesn’t become a problem to exploit and kills those farm animals who live near us. Or the “vegetarians” who have recently begun eating locally-raised, organic animals. They are not the people who I see on some sort of ever-evolving path. They probably are, though, but maybe they need the occasional confrontation to shake up their complacency. I usually leave my acerbic remarks to close friends and family, the grand majority of who are not vegan. And these remarks are kept to a minimum – usually only when provoked! Like Dustin, I try to live my life as an example of the deliciousness and groundedness of being vegan and that is the best I can do. This is the path I have chosen and it works well for me. It is sometimes hard to accept that other people choose different paths with the same sort of goal (using less fossil fuels, making a smaller environmental footprint, practicing peace in every step, etc.). I don’t think vegans have to have the monopoly on niceness, though, and it is probably helpful to have some productive outlets for some of the inevitable rage!

    Reply
  10. TPWard

    You and I have certainly had some yawning gulfs of disagreement, but you are one of the few people in this little town who tells it like it is. I would rather disagree with you than agree with 6,000 fuck-tards who actually feel differently than they say out loud. You are principled, you walk the walk, and I admire you for not wavering in defense of what you believe in.

    Sometimes we don’t see eye-to-eye on the value of blind rage in a debate, but I don’t think today is one of those days.

    Reply
  11. Angela

    Hello Lagusta,
    I came across your blog from your company site (I LOVE swears and far-left ranting) and just wanted to not be a creeper and say hi.
    Everything you’re doing is amazing. I would’ve had a hard time not saying anything to that farmer dude, too.

    Reply
  12. Jordan

    This post was for me today!! Thanks as always Lagusta,, yesterday Some dumb ass kids and their stupid mother let two of our rescued most Wild Mustangs out of the sanctuary onto the public street!! The sanctuary director And I flew into a rage screaming and yelling and calling the mother and the children Fucking idots,, (they did happen to let the horses out of not one but two gates). I honestly dont have fingers and toes to count all the times fuck was Screamed into the faces of the kids and their mother. And I honestly called them meat eating fucks! While three of us ran down the steet with lead ropes and a bucket of grain I looked behind me to make sure they were not entering into the sanctuary again and saw tears running down all of their faces. They had just come to give the horses apples. They however let themselves into the sanctuary after not obeying the signs posted all over the enterance to call a number before entering and that tours are on certain days at certain times. I felt awful trying to sleep last night and thinking about them crying all the way home. Alot of the anger was misplaced because of other things that happened earlier in the month/week/year/past two years. So when you feel bad about what happened at your shop that day. Consider screaming “meat eating fucks” into the faces of children! You think those kids will ever grow up to be vegans?

    Also the vegetarian thing sucks.. On one hand they are trying their best on the other hand its like having sex with your clothes on. I think the problem is that the word vegetarian needs to be taken back by vegans. And vegetarians can be called something else. There is nothing vegetarian about eggs and milk not from a vegetable at all!

    P.S. I might be at the catskills sanctuary this spring and I think a trip to the chocolate shop will be in the works also!

    Reply
  13. Vee

    I’ve been thinking. And I mean this in the best way possible. Oh, a little background: I’m at college, I’ve been vegetarian my whole life and am currently attempting to wean myself off dairy (got the eggs and other animal products more or less under control…apart from that recycled leather jacket which I really have to dispose of at the secondhand store soon) and go all out vegan. Anyway: you obviously think that your beliefs are the right ones. And to be honest, I do as well. But I think that believing that your own beliefs are superior to others’ is something that history has proven to be really dangerous. It kind of reminds me of the girls in my 9th grade maths class who kept trying to save my soul by leading me to Christ, you know? There are people out there who think it is okay to eat other species. Other species do eat other species. There have been times where I’ve wondered if I could bring myself to eat “humanely-raised” meat – but in the end, I think eating another being is just wrong. It’s unnecessary. That’s what I believe. Are my beliefs the “right” ones? I’d like to think so, but I really don’t know. I wouldn’t get angry at vegetarians. Not everyone can fight the system so hard. Everyone has a different battle to fight. Some of the best people I know, who’ve devoted their lives to particular causes and have done so much to change society, are by no means vegetarian – does that make them bad people? Is this making sense to you? I’m kind of just thinking everything over. Incidentally, I found your blog while looking for a vegan frosting recipe that did not use Earth Balance or margarine…I have a few food-related questions to post over on that page too.

    Reply
    • Dustin Rhodes

      Vee,

      What you write above is basically what my partner says to me CONSTANTLY, and thus: I think you have a point. A very good one, in fact.

      Reply
      • lagusta

        Meh.

        I mean, first of all: hello and welcome Vee!
        You seem like a lovely human being, and I’m happy to have your thoughtfulness!

        That said: couldn’t disagree more.

        Just because Hitler had strong views means I shouldn’t have strong views? That appears to be the logical conclusion of your thoughts, and let’s just think about that for a minute.

        Here’s how I think about it: you gotta have ethics. And you gotta believe those ethics are right. That’s how you live in the world. If you’re any semblance of a good person, or person trying to be a good person, that is. Every single decision you make in a day could paralyze you unless you have a set of ethical beliefs in place to back it up. I need to move forward. In order to do so, I need to BELIEVE SOMETHING. And I need to believe that my something is right, otherwise why get out of bed in the morning?

        Now, that doesn’t mean I’m killing other people who disagree. And that doesn’t mean I’m closing myself off to other opinions. I read a shit-ton of arguments against veganism. Why? Because I like to have my beliefs tested. Because I like being right! As well I should, since I’ve thought and fought and come to by beliefs honestly.

        And that’s where I’m different from your standard Jesus freak or, you know, Hitler. Open mind. I listen to what meat eaters say, and it’s consistently and patently garbage every fucking time. So, ergo: I’m right!

        The smugness though…I guess I should work on that.

        OK, THAT SAID. I don’t hate on veggie pals in real life like I hate on them on this blog. Not at all. This blog is my place to indulge my inner asshole. In real life when I meat (FREUDIAN SLIP!!! HA HA!!) someone who’s veggie, I truly do think “well, they’re at least doing SOMETHING!” because what’s the use of yelling at them? No use. But privately (and by that I mean: for the entire internet to read), I’m pretty peeved at vegetarians.

        I say, also: wear that leather jacket if you want, instead of going out and buying something new. Fuck what other vegans think. As long as you’ve got your shit straight in your head, that’s what matters.

        :)

        xoxox
        L

  14. Vee

    Ahh I get you now. It’s pretty cool that you try to test your beliefs, I think that’s important for anyone. My meat-eating friends, most of whom are still convinced that veganism is unhealthy, could use some open-mindedness.Thanks heaps. About your anger and smugness…I don’t think your blog would be half as interesting without them, and it wouldn’t be as easy for people to come here to share their own opinions and ethical stances on issues without being worried about being judged. Yeah you’re a little bit of a fundamentalist, but someone has to be. As long as they’re not killing things.

    Reply
  15. pantyhose « resistance is fertile

    […] I can’t figure out why (on the other hand, I love it when they hate me and I know why and don’t care!), so even though I don’t hate these three women (one I never think about, except we have an […]

    Reply
  16. Mike

    Dude, you’re fucking nuts. You constantly contradict yourself. You make me want to eat animals out of spite.
    The reality of your situation is- you’re a business owner. If you want to be successful in the future you have a lot of growing up to do. You feel like you can berate your customer base and they will continue to support you. Well guess what, I no longer support your business because of your closed-mindedness approach to human beings.

    Reply
    • lagusta

      Wow, it was really crazy to read this post again and remember what a huge asshole I was two years ago. My god I’ve calmed down a lot.

      I’m aware I contradict myself. I mention it in the post.

      If a two-year-old blog post written by someone you’ve never met makes you want to eat animals out of spite, then you have some growing up to do as well, it seems. But you were probably just exaggerating, which is a literary trope I am somewhat familiar with and have much compassion for.

      The shop and business are doing quite well, but I appreciate your very well-founded concern. As it turns out, most of our customers are loyal precisely because of our politics. And I’ve also really gotten my rage under control these days. It’s really fucking nice.

      I still don’t like vegetarians though. I mean, who does?

      Reply

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