back to main | back to forum | view rules | page: 1 2 interviews an exvegan
VeganExplosion Posted at 2010/03/03 2:13pm reply to

Posts: 442
And, it's stella!

This blog is kind of notorious on the ppk. They take quotes from the PPKers and use them out of context/to make fun of veganism. Which, whatever, who cares. The blogger obv. has lots of time and is obsessed.

Everyone needs a gimmick I guess.

Not Wes Posted at 2010/03/03 2:53pm reply to

Not Wes
Posts: 611
I feel sorry for the PPKer who found out this dude was his brother. What a waste of effort that could be spent toward something positive.

Craig? Posted at 2010/03/03 3:58pm reply to

Posts: 1796
wow.  I never knew Stella, so I can't really comment.  but I've always wondered how someone could go back to the Dark Side, and after reading the "why I'm no longer a vegan" on her blog...... eh, I still don't understand.  but whatever.
UTexasMark Posted at 2010/03/03 4:50pm reply to

Posts: 378
Not much of a reason to "leave" veganism.  She admit she never really believed in it anyway.  She never gave arguments against the ideas that we shouldn't harm animals.

Really, there's not much reasoning.  Just her feelings and decisions listed without reasons.
UTexasMark Posted at 2010/03/03 4:54pm reply to

Posts: 378
and she was one of those people who believes it's all or none (nobody's fully vegan) so she had a hard time trying to be so extreme.

Kinda silly to realize you can't be extremely idealist and then give up on the idea completely.
Kristen Posted at 2010/03/03 5:36pm reply to

Posts: 849
peter Posted at 2010/03/03 6:01pm reply to

Posts: 1535
I'll never understand someone who leaves veganism for a MORE conventional diet for environmental reasons.  Like Craig, I never knew Stella, but the logic just seems pretty bogus.
zvezdy Posted at 2010/03/03 6:59pm reply to

Posts: 394
I read the article, I think her reasons are silly. Never met her, but definitely recognize the picture.
kelsi Posted at 2010/03/03 7:53pm reply to

Posts: 105
this reminds me of someone who acts so homophobic to hide the fact that they're gay.  maybe he's too afraid to say that he supports vegans so he just bashes them instead.  ehh???  maybe well all get on his blog.  sweet dude.
Amelia Posted at 2010/03/03 10:44pm reply to

Posts: 361
The author of the blog used to live in Austin and was vegan for quite a while, and lived at Royal vegetarian co-op and worked at Casa de Luz. I read his food history and ... it's pretty extreme. He seems to have swung to all extremes of vegan-ness and all the way back again.
weigand Posted at 2010/03/03 11:53pm reply to

Posts: 539
I see too many problems in that article to comment. I also saw the "all or nothing" argument used throughout, as others here have mentioned. And many other problems.

She reminds me of a number of people I've met. They were each searching for something, but not necessarily the truth. More like some sense of belonging, purpose, and spirituality. They were vegans only for a while, sort of like trying on a suit to see if it fits. But ultimately something more attractive came along. Veganism is less about seeing if it fits you than it is about seeing if you can change in order to fit into it.

- Steve
Daiya-Bollich Posted at 2010/03/04 1:19am reply to

Posts: 218
>I'd been vegetarian off and on for about seven years, including one stint of near-veganism during college (totally vegan at home, pretty strict vegetarian elsewhere).

Well, here's a problem right off the bat. If she was an on again, off again vegetarian, why wouldn't she be an on again, off again vegan?

>My first and main motivation was, as for most vegans, to reduce animal suffering.

Suffering was her primary concern, not commodification. If the concern is treatment rather than the property status of animals, there's a hole in your veganism.

She keeps talking about being a "reluctant omnivore." Wasn't she in her mid-20s during this time period? She's not a child. She can make decisions for herself.

>I was happy as a vegetarian for a while, but always had a nagging feeling that I would eventually become vegan.

What? Was she waiting for someone to knock her over the head and force her to be vegan?

>During this time, I also read more and more vegan literature, and became increasingly drawn to abolitionist arguments, struggling with the idea/belief that exploiting animals is always categorically wrong.

She struggled with the "idea/belief that exploiting animals is always categorically wrong?" That doesn't sound to me like someone "drawn to abolitionist arguments." Was she ever actually an animal rights supporter?

>All along throughout my vegan journey, I was willing to admit that, yeah, in an ideal world, it might be preferable to eat animals.

Yeah, I don't really see the point in reading further. Instead I'll post a lengthy passage from an interview with Ted Kaczynski.
Daiya-Bollich Posted at 2010/03/04 1:41am reply to

Posts: 218
The following is a portion of a letter Ted Kaczynski wrote as a response to a young green anarchist from Turkey. I first read this in an underground anarchist magazine at Monkeywrench when I was visiting Austin a few years ago. It simultaneously made me very interested in Kaczynski's philosophy and exposed what I saw as flaws in anarcho-primitivism, an ideology I previously considered subscribing to. You can read all about my on again, off again relationship with anarcho-primitivism at

I think the typos are probably the fault of the trascriber, not Kaczynski. I found the letter on this Web site: . Now it's got me thinking. Did the New York Times or Washington Post edit his "Unabomber Manifesto" before publishing? My guess is 'no.' I think that would have violated the terms of their agreement. Enjoy!

Rebellion against technology and civilization is real rebellion, a real attack on the values of the existing system. But the green anarchist, anarcho-primitivists, and so forrth (the GA Movement have fallen under such heavy influence from the left that their rebellion against civilization has to a great extent been neutralized. Instead of rebelling against the values of civilization, they have adopted many civilized values themselves and have constructed an imaginary picture of priitive societies that embodies these civilized values. They pretend that hunter-gatherers worked only two or three hours a day (whch would come to 14 to 21 hours a week), that they had gender equality, that they respected the rights of animals, that they took care not to damage their environment, and so forth. But all that is a myth. If you will read many reoprts written by people who personally observed hunting-and-gathering societies at a time when these were relatively free of influence from civilization, you will see that
(i)        All of these societies ate some form of animal food, none were vegan.
(ii)        Most (if not all) of these societies were cruel to animals.
(iii)        The majority of these societies did not have gender equality.
(iv)        The estimate of two or three hours of work a day, or 14 to 21 hours per weekk, is based on a misleadin definition of work. A more realistic minimum estimate for fully nomadic hunter-gatherers would probably be about forty hours of work per week, and some worked a great deal more than that.
(v)        Most of these societies were not nonviolent.
(vi)        Competiton existed in most, or probably all of these societies. In some of them competition could take violent forms.
(vii)        These societies variedgreatly in the extent to which they took care not to damage their environment. Some may have been excellent conservationists, but others damaged their environment through over-hunting, reckless use of fire, or in other ways.
I could cite numerous reliable sources of information in support of the foregoing statements, but if I did so this letter would become unreasonably long. So I will reserve full documentation for a more suitable occasion. Here I mention only a few examples.
Cruelty to animals. Mbuti pygmies: The youngster had spread it with his first thrust, pinning the animal to the ground through the fleshy part of the stomach. But the animal was still very much alive, fighting for freedom. Maipe put another spear into its neck, but it still writhed and fought. Not until a third spear pierced its heart did it give up the struggle.
[T]he Pygmies stood around in an excited group, pointing at the dying animal and laughing.
At other times I have seen Pygmies singeing the feathers off birds that were still alive, explaining that the meat is more tender if death comes slowly. And the hunting dogs, valuable as they are, get kicked around mercilessly from the day they are born to the day die. Colin Turnbull, The Forest People, Simon and Schuster, 1962, page 101.
Eskimos: The Eskimos with whom Gontran de Poncins lived kiccked and beat their dogs brutally. Gontran de Poncins, Kabloona, Time-Life Books, Alexandria, Virginia, 1980, pages 29, 30, 49, 189, 196, 198-99, 212, 216.
Siriono: The Siriono sometimes captured young animals alive and brought them back to camp, but they gave them nothing to eat, and the animals were treated so roughly by the children that they soon died. Allan R. Holmberg, Nomads of the Long Bow: The Siriono of Eastern Bolivia, The Natural History Press, Garden City, New York, 1969, pages 69-70, 208. (The Siriono were not pure hunter-gatherers, since they did plant crops to a limited extent at certain times of year, but they lived mostly by hunting and gathering. Holmber, pages 51, 63, 67, 76-77, 82-83, 265.)
Lack of gender equality. Mbuti pygmies. Turnbull says that among the Mbuti, A woman is in no way the social inferior of a man (Colin Turnbull, Wayward Servants, The Natural History Press, Garden City, New York, 1965, page 270), and that the woman is not discriminated against (Turnbull, Forest People, page 154). But in the very same books Turnbull states a number of facts that show that the Mbuti did not have gender equality as that term is understood today. A certain amount of wife-beating is considered good, and the wife is expected to fight back. Wayward Servants, page 287. He said that he was very content with his wife, and he had not found it necessary tobeat her at all often. Forest People, page 205. Man throws his wife to the ground and slaps her. Wayward Servants, page 211. Husband beats wife. Wayward Servants, page 192. mbuti practice what Americans would call date rape. Wayward Servants, page 137. Turnbull mentions two instrances of men giving orders to their wives. Wayward Servants, page 288-89; forest People, page 265. I have not found any instance in Trunbulls books of wives giving orders to their husbands.
Siriono: The Siriono did not beat their wives. Holmberg, page 128. But: A woman is subservient to her husband. Holmsberg, page 125. The extended family is generally dominated by the oldest active male. Page 129. [W]omen .. are dominated by the men. Page 147. Sexual advances are generally made by the men . If a man is out in the forest alone with a woman he may throw her to the ground roughly and take his prize without so musch saying a word. Page 163. parents definitely prefer to have male children. Page 202. Also see pages 148, 156, 168-69, 210, 224.
Australian Aborigines: Farther north and west [in Australia] [p]erceptible power lay in the hands of the mature, fully initiated, and usually polygynous men of the age group from thirty to fifty, and the control over the women and younger males was shared between them. Carleton S. Coon, The Hunting Peoples (cited earlier), page 255. Among some Australian tribes, young women were forced to marry old men, mainly so that they should work for the men. Women who refused were beaten until they gave in. See Aldo Massola, The Aborigines of South-Eastern Australia: As They Were, The Griffin Press, Adelaide, Australis, 1971. I dont have the exact page, but you will probably find the foregoing between pages 70 and 80.
Time spent working. A good general discussion of this is by Elizabeth Cashdan, Hunters and Gatherers: Economic Behaviour in Bands, in Stuart Plattner (editor), Economic Anthropology, Stanford University Press, 1989, pages 21-48. Cashdan discusses a study by Richard Lee, who found that a certain group of Kung Bushmen wprked a little more that forty hours per week. And she points out on pages 24-25 that there was evidence that Lees study was made at a time of year when the Kung worked least, and they may have worked a great deal more at other times of year. She points out on page 26 that Lees study did not include time spent on care of children. And on pages 24-25 she mentions other hunter-gatherers who worked longer hours than the Bushmen studied by Lee. Forty hours per week is probably a minimum estimate of the working time of fully nomadic hunter-gatherers. Gontran de Poncins, Kabloona (cited earlier), page 111, stated that the Eskimos with whom he lived toiled fifteen hours a day. He probably did not mean that they worked fifteen hours every day, but it is clear from his book that his Eskimos worked plenty hard. Among the Mbuti pygmies who use nets to hunt, Net-making is virtually a full-time occupation in which both men and women indulge whenever thay have both the spare time and the inclination. Turnbull, Forest People, page 131. among the Siriono, the men hunted, on average, every other day. Holmberg, pages 75-76. they started at daybreak and returned to camp typically between four and six oclock in the afternoon. Holmberg, pages 100-101. this makes on avarage at least eleven hours of hunting, and at three and a half days a week it cmoes to an average of 38 hours of hunting per week, at the least. Since the men also did a significant amount of work on days when they did not hunt (pages 76, 100), their work week, averaged over the year, had to be far more than forty hours. Actually, Holmberg estimated that the Siriono spent about half their waking time in hunting and foraging (page 222), which would mean about 56 hours a week in these activities alone. With other work included, the work week would have had to be well over sixty hours. The Siriono woman enjoys even less respite from labor than her husband, and the obligation of bringing her children to maturity leaves little time for rest. Holmberg, page 224. For other information indicating how hard the Siriono had to work, see pages 87, 107, 157, 213, 220, 223, 246, 248-49, 254, 268.
Violence. As mentioned earlier, numerous examples of violence can be found in Coons The Hunting Peoples. According to Gontran de Poncins, Kabloona, pages 116-120, 125, 162-165, 237-238, 244, homicides usually by a stab in the back were rather common among his Eskimos. The Mbuti pygmies were probably one of the least violent primitive peoples that I know of, since Turnbull reports no cases of homicide among them (apart from infanticide; see Wayward Servants, page 130). However, throughout The Forest People and Wayward Servants Turnbull mentions many beatings and fights with fists or sticks. Paul Schebesta, Die Bambuti-Pygen vom Ituri, Volume I, Institut Royal Colonial Belge, Brussels, 1938, pages 81-84, reports evidence that during the first half of the 19th century the Mbuti waged deadly warfare against the village-dwelling Africans who also lived in their forest. (For infanticide, see Schebesta, page 138.)
Competition. The presence of cempetition in hunting-and-gatherin societies is shown by the fights that occurred in some of them. See for example Coon, Hunting Peoples, pages 238, 252, 257-58. If a physical fight isnt a form of competition, then nothing is.
Fights may arise from competition for mates. For instance, Turnbull, Wayward Servants, pages 206, mentions a woman who lost three teeth in fighting with another woman over a man. Coon, page 260, mentions fighting over women by Australian aboriginal men. Competition for food may also lead to quarreling. This is not to say that sharing [of meat] takes place without any dispute or acrimony. On the contrary, the arguments that ensue when the hunt returns to camp are frequently long and loud . Turnbull, Wayward Servants, page 158. Coon refers to vociferous arguments over sharig of whale meat among certain Eskimos. Hunting Peoples, page 125.
*                                *                                *
I could go on and on citing concrete facts that show how ridiculous is the image of primitive peoples as non-competitive, vegetarian conservationists who had gender equality, respected the rights of animals, and didnt have to work for a living. But this letter is already too long, so the examplesalready given will have to suffice.
I dont mean to say that the hunting-and-gathering way of life was no better than modern life. On the contrary, I believe it was better beyond comparison. Many, perhaps most investigators who have studied hunter-gatherers have expressed their respect, their admiration, or even their envy of them. For example, Cashdan, page 21, refers to the hunting-and-gathering way of life as highly successful. Coon,page XIX, refers to the full and satisfactory lives of hunter-gatherers. Turnbull, Forest People, page 26, writes: [The Mbuti] were a people who had found in the forest something that made their life more than just worth living, something that made it, with all its hardships and problems and tragedies, a wonderful thing full of joy and happiness and free of care. Schebesta writes, page 73: How varied are the dangers, but also the joyous experiences on his hunting-excursions and countless journeys through the primeval forest! We of an unpoetic, mechanical age can have no more than an inkling of how deeply all of that touches the forest people in their mystical-magical thinking and shapes their attitude. And on page 205: The pygmies stand before us as one of the most natural of human races, as people who live exclusively incompliance with nature and without violation of their physical organism. Among their princippal traits are an unusually sturdy naturalness and liveness, and an unparalleled cheerfulness and freedom from care. They are people whose lives pass in compliance with the laws of nature.
But obviously the reasons why primitive life was better than civilized life had nothing to do with gender equality, kindness to animals, non-competitiveness, or nonviolence. Those values are the soft values of modern civilization. By projecting those values onto hunting-and-gatherin societies, the GA Movement has created a myth of a primitive utopia that never existed in reality.
Thus, even though the GA Movement claims to reject civilization and modernity, it remains enslaved to some of the most important values of modern society. For this reason, the GA Movement cannot be an effective revolutionary movement.
In the first place, part of the GA Movements energy is deflected away from the real revolutionary objective to eliminate modern technology and civilization in general in favor of the pseudo-revolutionary issues of racism, sexism, animal rights, homosexual rights, and so forth.
In the second place, because of its commitment to these pseudo- revolutionary issues, the GA Movement may attract too many leftists people who are less interested in getting rid of modern civilization than they are in the leftist issues of racism, sexism, etc. This would cause a further deflection of the movements energy away from the issues of technology and civilization.
In the third place, the objective of securing the rights of women, homosexuals, animals, and so forth, is incompatible with the objective of eliminating civilization, because women and homosexuals in primitive societies often do not have equality, and such societies are usually cruel to animals. If ones goal is to secure the rights of these groups, then ones best policy is to stick with modern civilization.
In the fourth place, the GA Movements adoption of many of the soft values of modern civilization, as well as its myth of a soft primitive utopia, attracts too many soft, dreamy, lazy, impractical people who are more incline to retreat into utopian fantasies than to take effective, realistic action to get rid of the technoindustrial system.
Craig? Posted at 2010/03/04 9:24am reply to

Posts: 1796
dang!  I think you broke my scroller wheel.

I will say this about Stella.  Her blog was bad ass.  Beautiful pictures of delicious looking food.  It'll be a shame to see that talent applied to the bloody muscle tissue cuisine.  sigh.
VeganExplosion Posted at 2010/03/04 11:08am reply to

Posts: 442
>dang!  I think you broke my scroller wheel.
>I will say this about Stella.  Her blog was bad ass.  Beautiful pictures of delicious looking food.  It'll be a shame to see that talent applied to the bloody muscle tissue cuisine.  sigh

Beautiful pictures? well, she had pictures.

Plus she very rarely had her own recipes. She just blogged about food from wheatsville and other restaurants. There are a million other austin bloggers who go out to eat around austin and blog about it so there's not much to miss.
Just my .02
Craig? Posted at 2010/03/04 11:57am reply to

Posts: 1796
eh, maybe I just have a different idea of what makes a beautiful food photo.  and I could care less about original recipes.  I just like to look at what I think would taste good in high resolution.

I realize this may be blasphemy to you hard core food bloggers. :P

the most disturbing thing about that interview, to me, was the "awwww, they MEAN well" attitude she has about vegans.  I find that intellectually condescending... but I'm not sure what I expect from an ex vegan.  I ain't losin' any sleep over this.  people fall of the vegan train every day.
VeganExplosion Posted at 2010/03/04 11:58am reply to

Posts: 442
Craig? Posted at 2010/03/04 12:06pm reply to

Posts: 1796
I'll take this time to say you take better pictures though. excited
VeganBrian Posted at 2010/03/04 11:07pm reply to

Posts: 139
the let them eat meat site has plenty of links to vegan sites. This is curious to me. I suppose they spend a lot of time looking at vegan stuff and thinking how much they hate it. I think i've seen this stella gal before. I'll make a point to invite her to VRA events. I bet she's tormented with guilt at her vegan failure and just needs a helping hand.
Ross Posted at 2010/03/04 11:59pm reply to

Posts: 4574
>the let them eat meat site has plenty of links to vegan sites. This is curious to me. I suppose they spend a lot of time looking at vegan stuff and thinking how much they hate it. I think i've seen this stella gal before. I'll make a point to invite her to VRA events. I bet she's tormented with guilt at her vegan failure and just needs a helping hand.

She was a member of our site for a while and posted occasionally
Diana Posted at 2010/03/05 7:50am reply to

Posts: 207
amazing how much more compelling her arguments were when she was vegan

Like Steve I see the all or nothing argument. While I would never want to water down the definition of vegan I think it's awful that people only uphold an ethical creed when they have a label to live up to. I've met some ex vegans and ex vegetarians who said being vegan made them sick so they went back to being full-time omnivores and I have asked "then why don't you only eat enough meat to make you feel healthy?". Obviously some of the foundational arguments are still correct so why go to the "dark side"? If for some crazy reason not eating any animal products was going to kill me then I would eat clams or mussels once a week or once a month because there is some question of their sentience. Or I would only eat freegan animal products. I wouldn't dig right back into store-bought butter, cheese, eggs and other vertebrate products. The fact that no ex vegans I've ever known take this incremental approach is puzzling to me.  
Post a comment
page: 1 2
0 users logged in: