milwaukee vegan meetup Message Board › No Green Cuisine Showdown at Green Festival Chicago
Our event was approved in January, we met the deadlines for itinerary, etc. by March 1st, then there was an organizational shakeup and the regional director (the one who approved us) quit. My understanding is that we could have still staged this event, if we came up with a significant amount of money, as the production company did not have the funds for the Chicago event as in past years (you can see this in the lack of national/international speakers, vendors, etc. this year). Additionally, we decided we'd rather support the home team (Growing Power) with their conference and plans going forward. There were also complaints about doing something that hinged entirely on climate change, right after ClimateGate, and some other events. Now our focus is shifting more toward obesity (esp. childhood obesity, food and beverages in schools) even though we will retain some emphasis on green cuisine. On the upside, some of the speakers they did recruit will be addressing the environmental impact of food, so we influenced not only the festival but moved our own position ahead significantly. You win some, lose some... sometimes simultaneously.
Edited by JP on May 21, 2010 2:09 AM
Getting some flack from AR activists for supposedly pushing a "purely environmental argument" for eating vegan, which is not true. Sometimes you just have to put the environmental argument "to the fore to get your foot in the door", word.
Anyways, here's my response, in case anyone cares,
"One important consideration to think about is that the vegetarian or
vegan movement hasn't really given meat eaters tasty enough
alternatives (protein foods) for the same or lower prices. Part of the
problem is that veg*ns tend to want to use organic ingredients, pay
their employees more, etc. which makes it difficult to compete. Too
much hope was pinned on soy, which never dropped as low in price as
predicted. When the protein costs more money, there is less money to
spend on the ingredients to flavor it. Medical science debates over if
one shouldn't eat too much soy anyways (tho still much better than
land animal meat) due to thyroid problems, etc., but regardless,
dependence on soy cost the veg*n movement a lot of momentum. Has
vegetarianism or veganism grown at all in the past decade? It
certainly doesn't seem like it in this country.
Now people are pinning their hopes on lab meat/synthetic meat (e.g.
PETA's prize money to whoever makes the first commercially viable
product with it). How long from now that becomes a reality is anyone's
guess, 5 years say some researchers, could be 10-20? Estimates are
that lab meat hamburger could be1/3 the price of farmed raised. Ironic
that researchers at companies considered our worst enemies, Monsanto,
Cargill, etc. could do more for animals than we vegans have yet.
Rising gas prices (I'm talking well north of $5/gallen) will increase
the price of animal agriculture disproportionately and also have a
That's not to say we can't still make a great difference as vegans,
not by a long shot. But it's going to take expanding your horizons. We
cannot cling to the old dreams anymore. India has the vast majority of
the world's vegetarians, 70-80%. Many of them, such as their Hindu
clerics, hate our meat and dairy industry in the West, as the latter
is tied to cruelty and slaughter, as mentioned in these threads. I am
curious to actively explore how India's rising influence, and
sentiment for its vegetarianism in the face of the West's fast
food/media invasion, might play out for animal welfare in the global
political arena. I was intrigued to hear about how Indians were
disgusted by the McVeggie, McDonald's attempt to pander to
vegetarians, which was perhaps sabotaged by McD's in a way so as not
to compete with their sale of meat burgers.
That's why I'm part of a group to develop algal protein as a cheaper
(and healthier) ingredient in meat alternatives. The billion dollar
invesments in algaculture by the likes of Exxon Mobil, the Feds, etc,
mostly for biofuel and feedstocks, will bring vast quantities of cheap
algal protein to market. It's time to consider your proximity to the
headquarters of the global machine that kills soooo many animals and
people (and land) an asset, because for the vegetarian/vegan movement,
these next decades are END GAME."