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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Eating well in Invers

In the library of a gracious Invercargill home, eyeing-up the huge custard squares and trying to match the wit of the host  - eating with vegans ain't easy! Tasty though, and entertaining. I hadn't been sure I had the right address initially, but other people were arriving, carrying dishes of milk-free this and meat-free that, so I followed them up the driveway, through the open door (not noticing the wolf's-head door-knocker. It wasn't til I was leaving afterwards that I spotted that.)down the hallway with its overhead collection of box-brownies and into the front room all lined with books. People were there - ordinary people who care about the quality of life that the bee, bear, buffalo and baluga can enjoy, but don't always, thanks to our (human) hungry and thoughtless ways. No rabbit stew graced that table, as it did that night in my house - I'd left all that behind and was trying something new, an ethically sound meal with good-hearted non-hunters. Gatherers though, from supermarkets and fruit and vege shops mainly, but good cooks and composers of desserts - the afore-mentioned squares were epic, no milk was harmed in the making of those though, they were soy good! I brought along a selection of apples from my orchard to share and contributed to Jordan's podcast as best I could. Somehow, the conversation turned to poo - animal poo that is, and my interest in photographing this crap and that dung, and lo and behold, one of my fellow guests had a story of finding a Book of Poo in a second-hand shop! A book of poo - O frabjous day, halloo, hallay! I've booked a reading and can barely wait.
Before we left, we were shown the knocker on the front door - a Cheshire cat! Who could have seen that coming?
Great night!
Invercargill Vegan Society - you rock!


JayWontdart said...

"Beware the Vegan, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the no-mushrooms-for-me-please bird, and shun The frumious "localvore"!""

You laid down your vorpal blade well Robert, no snicker snack that night, it was lovely that you accepted our invitation Robert, you're most welcome in future :-)

We'd love to include any of your serfs.....WILLING workers too, think of all the lives that could be saved with a Riverton Vegan Society potluck held each night!

Take care!

robertguyton said...

The talk of fewmets was heady, Jordan, and the company fine.
On Friday nights in winter, we do Soup at the Centre. Perhaps you'd like to 'sup with us around that cheery fire?

Anonymous said...

I'm just waiting for Steve to get the doco DVD together and then we'll drop that and the book off to you.

You asked if it had shrew poo, but no, sorry. It does have hippo, tiger, goldfish, tarantula, guinea pig, and much, much more, including a nice close-up of a human one.


robertguyton said...

What nationality (he asks, demurely)?
Goldfish, eh! I've seen some beauties, but they're mstly due to not providing the wee scaley things with a varied-enough diet :-)
My best-ever 'point-of-lay' experience was watching a white-faced heron in flight, release a 15-footer that seemed to stretch from vent to ground. Fortunetely, I was off to the side.
I'm looking forward to seeing both the doco and the book - Great Expectations!

Shunda barunda said...

I wonder whether Vegans believe we are 'higher beings' that have to overcome our animalness and suppress a desire that some would see as being as natural as wanting to drink water.

Why do we have the teeth we do? why do other animals eat each other? So many questions, so much confusion!!

robertguyton said...

Why do animals eat each other?
You are confused, Shunda!

Shunda barunda said...


Can you help? or perhaps one of the plant munchers?

Shunda barunda said...

Just take a look at my profile pic to the right, I didn't get that handsome from eating lettuce!!

robertguyton said...

'Plant munchers'?
Check out the food photos, Shunda.
Nary a plant to be seen.

robertguyton said...

Your profile pic reveals that you're a little pale, Shunda.
You might need something more substantial than your usual whitebait soup.

Anonymous said...

If you really want answers, Shunda barunda, they're out there (visit any vegan/vegetarian website, or just google it). Vegans get a bit sick of every forum being turned into a big discussion, with the same old objections being raised.

We dropped your book and DVD off this afternoon, Robert. Hope the book lives up to your expectations!


Anonymous said...

Robert, I hope there wasn't an implication there that meat eaters can't do so ethically, or that vegans are always ethical in their eating?

All power to any ethically eating vegan, vegehead or omnivore who allows others their own ethics.

JayWontdart said...

Hi Shunda,

I'll speak for myself, for the most part though, I think in general most Vegans would agree we are nothing special, we are animals ourselves of course (my podcast begins with a clip of Richard Dawkins correcting ethicist Peter Singer about this, "you said Animals, but I believe you mean Nonhuman Animals...." to which Singer of course states "yes, I did indeed, I use animals as the common usage patterns of our culture expect, meaning Nonhuman Animal....."

We are mammals, like Cows (who of course do not provide milk nonstop, but after being made pregnant, for their children), we are primates, like Chimpanzees or Gorillas.

Nothing special, nothing "higher" :-)

I like this joke about "the food chain" by English sociologist Professor Roger Yates, as told here on NZ Vegan Podcast

Dr Roger Yates "Food Chain"

Do we have desires to harm cats and dogs which we "suppress"? Or are our actions in some way influenced by our culture and society, ie, we behave one way to cats, and another way to cows?

I think the latter, that we've grown up believing X is ok, that "EVERYONE does X", which makes it ok. On closer inspection though, the emperor rather needs a new pair of underpants, not to mention an urgent need to put an actual coat on! :-)

I rather like this Song A Day episode about Veganism and nutrition, the singing is a little off key, but the humour is fun :-)

"Q: What about our ancestors? Didn't they eat meat?
If I wasn't supposed to eat it, then why do I have these teeth?

A: Do your teeth look like a carnivores? All sharp and pointy, like?
No you gotta cook your meat over a roaring fire light!
Furthermore, all carnivores act on instinct
Humans make choices, they consider and they think
If humans of old ate meat
It was a choice not a necessity "

Other Animals do many things which we human animals would find unacceptable, Chickens have absolutely no respect for stop signs, and as for Tigers and give way signs, HOPELESS! :-)

Hi Wildcrafty, I like your photo of socks with biddy bids attached :-)

RE "live and let live", exactly! We couldnt agree more ;-)

Those we harm, considered "stock" (literally, "livestock", the term "Cattle" coming from "Chattel", property, possessions) , mere things and "its", rather than gendered beings, a he or she, we believe they should be respected for who they are, sentient beings with as much right to his or her lives and bodily integrity as you and I have a right to ours :-)

If you have any other questions, some great websites to check out are (free plug for the Invercargill Vegan Society) (a great guest chat website, with many interviews, podcasts with well known figures in the the Animal Rights world, as well as The Other Side RE experimentation etc)

Take care everyone, stay warm Shunda and Crafty! :-)


robertguyton said...

Kerri - I'm all a-flutter but confused - where did you drop them off too? I've searched the Environment Centre...

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm sorry. I dropped them at Environment Southland. I get that and Environment Centre mixed up.


pinkkat said...

Hi Robert,

Just wanted to say thanks for the 2 peasgood nonsuch I took from your fantastic box of apples that evening - they were AMAZING! I made apple and onion tartlets, apple-sultana-cinnamon pie, and had the rest on my porridge. Is it possible to grow trees of my own from the pips?


Kath : )