Interesting items from my inbox and elsewhere …
Why people hate vegans, part whatever … and how to deal with them
If I’m ever in Toronto again, I’m having a meal at this guy’s restaurant.
Animal rights activists were horrified this weekend when the co-owner of a Dundas West restaurant they’d been protesting for weeks staged what appeared to be a counter-protest of his own.
The restaurant in question, Antler, is known for serving “local seasonal and wild foods” that are native to Canada, such as bison, boar, rabbit, duck and deer.
A group of local activists had arranged a protest in front of the restaurant on Friday evening, writing on Facebook that it would be their fourth of such protests outside Antler.
Yeah, yeah, the usual holier-than-thou nonsense from vegan zealots. That’s not news. But the owner’s method of dealing with them was:
About an hour into their demonstration, protesters say that the restaurant’s co-owner and chef, Michael Hunter, “brought out an entire animal leg and started cutting it up right in the window on a table reserved for diners.”
Event organizer Marni Jill Ugar wrote later that night on Facebook that she felt Hunter had been “taunting” the group by cutting up a deer leg right in front of them.
Aw, jeez, you try to annoy the crap out of the owner and his patrons, and he responds by taunting you? What is this world coming to?
“Once the deer was cooked Michael Hunter, owner of Antler, sat back down at the window to eat the dead deer,” she wrote.
“Look in the window. Look at Michael Hunter. That deer was treated like a joke. That deer was an innocent animal who did not want to die.”
Same goes for all the innocent animals who are killed to farm your soybeans, you mental midget.
At one point, a couple of police officers arrive and go into the restaurant. They are seen speaking to Hunter as he continues to prepare the meat.
After about a minute, Hunter packs up his tools and meat. Both he and the police officers are then seen smiling as they walk away.
They’re smiling, I’m laughing.
Speaking of soybeans, White Castle is now making meatless sliders:
Vegetarians who once found it impossible to eat fast food have a new option that will give them the true White Castle experience.
The fast food chain is introducing the “Impossible Slider.”
It’s the first plant-based and scientist-developed burger to hit the fast food market.
Yeah, that’s the key to good health: eating foods developed in laboratories by scientists.
It’s made with a meat substitute that apparently tastes and even bleeds like real meat, but is made entirely out of plants.
If you want something that looks like a burger, tastes like a burger, and even bleeds like a burger, just eat a burger. Nobody ever goes looking for meat that looks and tastes like tofu.
On the other hand, the next time vegans decide to protest outside Antler, perhaps the owner can cut up a bleeding meat substitute in the window.
Meat and Men, Part One
As you probably know, the vast majority of vegans are women – around 75%, according to one survey I saw. So why is that? A study reported in Science Daily gives us the answer:
According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, consumers are influenced by a strong association of meat with masculinity.
“We examined whether people in Western cultures have a metaphoric link between meat and men,” write authors Paul Rozin (University of Pennsylvania), Julia M. Hormes (Louisiana State University), Myles S. Faith (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), and Brian Wansink (Cornell University). The answer, they found, was a strong connection between eating meat — especially muscle meat, like steak — and masculinity.
In a number of experiments that looked at metaphors and certain foods, like meat and milk, the authors found that people rated meat as more masculine than vegetables. They also found that meat generated more masculine words when people discussed it, and that people viewed male meat eaters as being more masculine than non-meat eaters.
The authors of the study seem to consider the association of meat and manliness a problem we must overcome:
If marketers or health advocates want to counteract such powerful associations, they need to address the metaphors that shape consumer attitudes, the authors explain. For example, an education campaign that urges people to eat more soy or vegetables would be a tough sell, but reshaping soy burgers to make them resemble beef or giving them grill marks might help cautious men make the transition.
Or you could just make those soy burgers bleed. But as for those “cautious” men, perhaps they just intuitively understand the effects of swapping meat for soy …
Meat and Men, Part Two
Here are some quotes from a study in my files:
A randomised crossover dietary intervention study was performed to evaluate the effects of replacing meat protein in the diet with a soyabean product, tofu, on blood concentrations of testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, androstanediol glucuronide, oestradiol, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), and the free androgen index. Forty-two healthy adult males aged 35-62 years were studied. Diets were isoenergetic, with either 150 g lean meat or 290 g tofu daily providing an equivalent amount of macronutrients, with only the source of protein differing between the two diets.
Okay, so they divided up the men and fed one group meat, the other group tofu. And here are the results:
The mean testosterone:oestradiol value was 10% higher (P = 0.06) after the meat diet. SHBG was 3% higher (P = 0.07), whereas the FAI was 7% lower (P = 0.06), after the tofu diet compared with the meat diet. There was a significant correlation between the difference in SHBG and testosterone:oestradiol and weight change. Adjusting for weight change revealed SHBG to be 8.8% higher on the tofu diet and testosterone:oestradiol to be significantly lower.
So the meat-eating men had a higher testosterone to estrogen ratio, and lower levels of sex hormone-binding globulin. Wikipedia tells us SHBG limits the bioavailability of hormones like testosterone, and then adds this little nugget:
SHBG levels are usually about twice as high in women than in men.
So I’m pretty sure swapping soy protein for meat isn’t something most of us men want to do … even if the soy burger bleeds.
A meat-eating man sets a record.
If you saw Super Size Me, you may recall the interview with Don Gorske, the guy who eats a Big Mac every day. Frankly, I wasn’t sure why Spurlock included him. He was lean and fit, and thus seemed to undermine Spurlock’s premise that eating at McDonald’s makes people fat.
Anyway, Mr. Gorske recently reached a new milestone:
Another day, another burger, and one major McMilestone for one man.
Don Gorske, 64, recently downed his 30,000th Big Mac from McDonald’s.
He’s eaten at least one almost every day, since May 17, 1972.
The Wisconsin man has a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. In case you’re wondering, he says his cholesterol and blood pressure are normal – and he weighs five pounds less than he did 5,000 Big Macs ago.
And he somehow managed to avoid having a liver that resembles an alcoholic’s … perhaps because unlike Spurlock, he’s not a closet alcoholic.
How to kill raccoons slowly
Raccoons have become the bane of my existence. Remember last summer, when I found out Rocky Raccoon VI was living inside the chicken coop – after he wiped out half the flock?
In the past month, I’ve trapped and killed Rocky Raccoon VII and Rocky Raccoon VIII. Both of them managed to find a way into the chicken yard – Rocky Raccoon VIII apparently climbed a tree, leaped onto the net and chewed a hole in it.
Our last remaining flock is now so small, we’ve gone from selling eggs to buying eggs at the grocery store when we run out. It was a real letdown to put eggs in the grocery basket after all these years.
Anyway, some raccoons are apparently feeling the effects of eating too much people food:
Here’s another reason for keeping raccoons out of your compost bin: our leftovers are giving them high blood sugar.
A new study by a group of Ontario researchers found that raccoons with easy access to human food waste were significantly heavier and had higher blood glucose levels than others.
The findings, published last week in the journal Conservation Physiology, compared data from three groups of raccoons: those with high access to human food waste living on the grounds of the Toronto Zoo, those in a conservation area with moderate access to garbage, and those in a farming area with hardly any access to food waste.
Blood glucose level is determined by measuring for the presence of a glycated serum protein (GSP). The urban raccoons averaged GSP levels more than double those of their rural cousins.
So the raccoons eating human food have high blood sugar – and double the glycated proteins of the country raccoons that kill my chickens. And what do researchers blame for the high blood sugar? Too many leftover donuts? Breads? Pretzels? Candies?
Of course not:
That doesn’t surprise Suzanne MacDonald, an animal behaviour specialist in the psychology department at York University.
“They’re eating high fat, high salt, just like we are. It’s not surprising that raccoons are mirroring what humans in cities look like.”
Yeah, it just HAD to be the fat and salt, of course.
And that’s why I can’t retire from blogging anytime soon.