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Mar 26, 2007

He who says speciesism says fascism—


Forty-eight thousand million animals—yes, 48 billion creatures—are estimated to die each year as a result of human activities ranging from factory farming to hunting, the fur garment trades, commercial exploitation of various kinds, and biomedical research. That's more than 130 million creatures every single day, including birds, cows, and hogs, all of them highly sociable animals.

The way we go about killing animals, wherever they may be found or kept, land, sea or air—murdering and torturing are better words—is astonishing. We do it with abandon and we do it in such institutionalized, "tradition" approved ways that only a minority ever realize the extent of the tragedy. Since the era of modern fishing began 200 years ago we have decimated the oceans, ostensibly infinite reservoirs of life, converting many maritime regions into what Farley Mowat accurately decried as "seas of slaughter." In the USA alone, every year almost 50 million turkeys are killed just for Thanksgiving Day, to commemorate a date that is of questionable historical merit, and which, despite the fact that the sacrificial victims have grown from a handful to tens of millions, rarely stirs any introspection. Sadly, such incidents are but a mere drop in an invisible sea of abuse whose actual roots date back to our earliest times as a species with self-righteous "dominionistic" claims over nature.

Forty-eight billion animals is a stunning figure, yet this figure, regarded by many experts as scandalously conservative, does not include animals mistreated or dead as a result of habitat destruction, widespread pollution, apparently "harmless" recreational activities such as sport fishing and boating, and the collision of animals with "modernity" (up to 250 million animals die annually as roadkill on the American highways alone). We have become indeed not only the most appalling tyranny over every other sentient creature on this planet, including many segments of our own breed, but also a raging, self-righteous cancer extending itself with impunity to every corner of the earth.


Today, as a result of industrialism, ecological deterioration and other related issues, self-defined progressives can't afford to go on pretending that suffering on such egregious scale is just a peripheral issue, or the concern of affluent diettantes with little interest in other social issues.

Due to a deeply embedded and largely unexamined 18th Century heritage of philosophical "superhumanism" ("man is the measure of all things," and the rest of all that self-celebratory rubbish which, we should mention in passing, arose as a response to a greater form of human stupidity, the one granting God and King total control over human agency), the Left continues to endorse or acquiesce in human supremacist attitudes toward animals. This moral blindness is inexcusable for those who rightly see themselves as the moral vanguard of humanity. [Check this article, for example: Rethinking Revolution: Animal Liberation, Human Liberation, and the Future of the Left By STEVEN BEST . It'll probably challenge many of your assumptions.]

The bottom line is that speciesism—an underhanded and primitive form of fascism applied to animals and nature in general—is by far the oldest and most pervasive form of brutal tyrannization known on our planet. I don't use the word "fascism" as hyperbole in this context or for dramatic effect. I wish it were hyperbole. But the fact is that fascism is distinguished for its unilateral proclamations of superiority by a certain race or breed, with such spurious superiority endowing said race with the "right" to dominate, exploit, and annihilate at will any group deemed "inferior." If that pretty much doesn't describe eloquently our despicable behavior toward non-human animals, I don't know what does.

And for those who pretend to be stuck on the word "fascism" thinking that its use in this context is an abuse of language, you better think again. You abuse a language when you turn it on its head, to accomplish precisely the opposite of what the words originally denoted. Bush and his contemptible camarilla, as we all know, is a prime example of this: in his lips the words freedom, democracy and justice, not to mention a fair shake for the disadvantaged, are but tools of manipulation to further the agenda of a deranged and criminal plutocracy. But what am I proposing here? Something that all of you should be for, an extension of compassion, or at least the benefit of the doubt when subjecting mind-boggling numbers of creatures to the finality of death. Where is the inversion of meaning there? The outrageous betrayal of the language? Or is it that I just managed to offend the sensibilities of too many purists who happened to land on this forsaken blog?

But wait, I ain't through yet. Just like there are many varieties of capitalism, socialism and communism, so you also have distinct varieties of fascism. In some, all the bells and whistles are found that connote "classical fascism" —the jackboots, the open corporatization of the state, and so on and so forth, as we have come to know it. In others, it's more an all-encompassing worldview, a system of values, an ideology that justifies a treatment code. But here's the crux of the question, as some might say. The boots, the marches, the endless wars, the nauseating violence, the paraphernalia of fascism and the fascination with death—all of that cannot happen in the absence of an ideology that starts by justifying the oppression of others by virtue of a self-serving, unilateral declaration of superiority. You think you heard that before? Yeah, I said it earlier.

Regrettably, human chauvinism cuts very deep and pervades every nook and cranny of what we optimistically still call civilization, and has done so for millennia. No one is immune to its infection, including many folks who regard themselves as impeccably "progressive". Indeed, it is from their ranks that you often hear some of the worst and most derisive epithets. The usual argument is that progressives, always a thin line against barbarism, have better things to attend to than the fate of "mere" chickens and cows. Compassion, to such individuals, has obviously left the building; it is fungible, divisible, and comfortably apportionable according to inclusion or exclusion in certain categories of privileged sentience. They obviously don't see—refuse to see—the parallels with so many other struggles they may have honored or participated in, nor do they see how the liberation of animals is an integral part of a serious environmentalist agenda. No, here they draw the line, and reason, kindness, and the most elementary fairness fly out the window.

But such narrow-minded and intellectually lazy positions will surely be exposed—sooner rather than later—for the pretentious sham they truly are. For now, in the age of an utterly deranged industrialism, with a global system blatantly proclaiming as its organizing principle the pursuit at any cost of infinite growth in what to any sensible person is a very finite and fragile planet, the tyranny of humans over nature has acquired monstruous proportions. The colossal dimensions of animal exploitation by the industrial method and the death of one species after another grimly attest to that.

In view of these incontestable facts, no one with a scintilla of decency should turn his or her back on such knowledge. It is the duty of all people who haven't yet done so, and especially of progressives, to re-examine their assumptions about animals, about their everyday conduct in choosing food and clothing and transportation modes, and to join the last struggle against the first tyranny. By doing so, they will re-invigorate the environmental movement, rendering it less abstract and more passionate, because while fighting for nature is a noble and urgent call, fighting for nature's oppressed creatures is a matter of long overdue justice.

PATRICE GREANVILLE, editor of Cyrano's Journal [ ] is an independent leftist and sometime economist who has always supported animal liberation, and who sees no contradiction whatsoever in such praxis. Having suffered, as a result of his opposition to corporate values, from unemployment and underemployment for most of his adult life, he is not cavalier in his opinions on job loss.

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Posted: Mar 26, 2007 7:51am
May 25, 2006

On Pace: Can vegan diet fuel an athlete? He says yes

Opinion by Jennifer Duffy
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 05.16.2006
What did you eat yesterday? Bradley Saul, a former pro-cyclist and founder of Organic Athlete, stopped in Tucson last week to talk about his organization and told me what he had munched on that day: half of a case of strawberries, two heads of lettuce chopped into a salad, some oranges and about 50 small dates.
The tall and lean but strong-looking cyclist is a vegan, and a raw foodist. He promotes organic living for athletes to ensure personal and environmental health. (Being a raw foodist who eats only whole foods, he doesn't touch things like whole wheat bread or tofu, but will eat some brown rice in a pinch, he says.)
Chowing down on a few heads of lettuce for lunch and avoiding all cooked and processed foods sounds a little extreme, but the principles of his vegan raw food diet are based on eating whole, organic foods that provide the vitamins, minerals and fiber that we all strive for in our diets.
Everyone's first question: Where do you get your protein?
"Where don't you get protein if you're eating whole foods?" said Saul, who started Organic Athlete when he was living in Tucson in 2003 and now resides in California.
"Human mother's milk has only 5 to 6 percent of its calories from protein. And that's for babies growing at a much more rapid rate than we are. We get enough protein if we eat whole foods, fruits and vegetables." He eats nuts and seeds in small amounts because they're high in fat.
Fruits and vegetables have a bit of protein per calorie — some more than others — so as long as you're eating whole foods, you can't not get enough protein, Saul says. These foods aren't as high in protein as meat, of course, but that protein is more difficult to digest, according to Saul.
But this guy isn't just munching on heads of lettuce and lounging on the couch — he's an athlete. Doesn't he need supplements or a chicken breast once in awhile?
He doesn't use supplements when he races, and when he recently ran a marathon he just ate dates for fuel during the 26.2-mile race. "I was fine."
I can't even imagine a long run without chocolate energy gel, but Saul's minimalism is inspiring.
Celery blended up in water provides the precious electrolytes athletes are always fretting over, although Saul says he really doesn't worry about whether he gets enough electrolytes.
"I used to come out of a race all covered in salt. I'm not like that anymore," he said. "Since I've started this, I can say my recovery times are better. I wake up in the morning ready for the day, and I don't need stimulants or caffeine to keep me going."
He says he went through a transition period for a few months, moving from vegetarianism to veganism (no animal products at all), to eating raw, organic foods.
"I had always known fruits and vegetables were the healthiest food and I ate a lot of them, but I had never heard of people that just ate them," Saul said with a laugh.
Now he does, although he was raised on "traditional American food — but all made from scratch," and his mother still eats the way she did when he was growing up.
"We had homemade birthday cakes, meat and potatoes. His friends were eating a lot of processed foods, but I just made everything from scratch. It wasn't necessarily healthy, though," said Molly Savitz.
"I'm surprised at how simple what he does is," said Savitz, of South Carolina, who will prepare food for as many as 700 cyclists at one of the Tour d'Organics race, put on by her son, this year.
I'm a vegetarian, and Saul's principles of eating lots of fruit and veggies appeal to me — but I'm not giving up my organic tofu any time soon. What I am going to glean from his purist lifestyle is a focus on organic produce, locally grown foods and choosing nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables over processed snacks.
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Posted: May 25, 2006 7:59am
Feb 22, 2006

He preaches vegetarianism

Minister says regimen helped cure his cancer

He preaches vegetarianism Minister says regimen helped cure his cancer Stressing the wisdom of a diet of raw vegetables and fruits, the Rev. George Malkmus delivers a message of health through natural foods.

On Monday, he will share the experience that changed his life when he speaks at the monthly Eat for Life Vegetarian Fellowship dinner at First Baptist Church in Hickory.

Malkmus, a Baptist preacher for more than 30 years, combines the personal testimonial of his own recovery from colon cancer with his research into nutrition and biblical teachings to develop a case for a vegetarian diet composed primarily of raw foods, he said in a news release.

Nearly 30 years ago, at age 42, Malkmus was diagnosed with colon cancer shortly after his mother died of the disease, the release said. Rather than pursuing the same treatment that had failed his mother, he chose to follow a vegetarian diet composed largely of raw vegetables and fruits.

The new diet, along with exercise and other lifestyle changes, cured his cancer and offered him relief from a variety of other ailments, including high blood pressure, hemorrhoids, hypoglycemia, and severe sinus and allergy problems, the release said.

Retired Hickory physician Dr. Thomas Warren, a member of First Baptist Church and the Eat for Life Vegetarian Fellowship, said he finds Malkmus' work to be worthwhile.

"It's an outstanding program, a good opportunity for people to address their health-care needs and take responsibility for them," Warren said. "The diet is biblically based and a vegan program, with no meat, poultry or fish.

"Once you make the leap into vegan, you'll find you can get everything you need from plant sources, including quality protein."

According to Malkmus, the more mankind strays from the original diet found in Genesis 1:29, the more likely that sickness is to occur. He says the standard American diet of processed foods and unhealthy lifestyles are largely responsible for an epidemic of obesity, diabetes and other diseases in the United States.

In 1986 Malkmus founded Hallelujah Acres in Shelby, a nondenominational Christian center for education, health food products and services, including raw food prep classes and a vegetarian cafe open for lunch on weekdays and Saturdays.

A half-mile walking path also winds along the perimeter of the campus past the organic garden and greenhouse through fields and by woods.

Medical Center names officers

Catawba Valley Medical Center recently announced its 2006 medical staff officers and department chiefs.Dr. Robert Yapundich will serve as the 2006 chief of staff, with Dr. Robert Highland as chief-elect of staff and Dr. Geoffrey DeLeary as secretary.

Serving this year as department chiefs are Dr. H. Lawson Huggins Jr., emergency medicine; Dr. Bart Lopina, family medicine; Dr. Wheaton Williams, medicine; Dr. Scott Chatham, obstetrics/gynecology; Dr. Mark Atkins, pathology; Dr. David Berry, pediatrics; Dr. Charles Davis, psychiatry; Dr. Charles Scheil, radiology; and Dr. Daniel Barnette, surgery.

Graystone honors longtime workers

Graystone Ophthalmology Associates recently honored 25 employees for a cumulative 260 years of service. Receiving awards were Caroline Pope, 25 years; Barbara Gilliam, Jenny Smith and Katie Perkins, 20 years; Cynthia Tucker, Melinda Reid, David Burke and Steve Baker, 15 years; Dr. T. Reginald Williams, 10 years; Charity Wilson, Sharon Rashidi, Randy Wilson, Brenda Stewart, Alicia Deal, Renee Pennell, Sheree Watson, Debbie B. Smith, Michelle Smith, Lisa Johnson, Ginger Duncan, Kim Green, Suxanne Morgan, Mandy Taylor, Ashley Kirby, Debbie G. Smith and Becky Frediani, five years.

Imaging center wins accreditation

Catawba Valley Imaging Center, a service of Catawba Valley Medical Center, has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in digital mammography following a recent survey by the American College of Radiology, Reston, Va.The accreditation is awarded to facilities for the achievement of high practice standards after an evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists. Criteria include qualifications of personnel and adequacy of equipment.

For information, contact Catawba Valley Medical Center's Out-Patient Services at (828) 326-3858.

Medical center recognized

Catawba Valley Medical Center was recently recognized by Health Imaging magazine for seamless connectivity of all imaging and patient information systems.

Out of more than 550 health care facilities, 10 were named as top connected care facilities and 12 more were selected for honorable mention. Catawba Valley Medical Center's department was one of only two municipality-owned hospitals nationwide to be recognized with honorable mention.

According to John Putnick, director of information systems at the hospital, the facilities selected successfully use digital imaging, information technology and support staff to connect imaging devices, physicians and referring physicians. This allows a rapid return of patient information for quick diagnosis and treatment.

Nurses get special certifications

Three registered nurses practicing at Catawba Valley Medical Center recently acquired specialty certifications, according to Eddie Beard, CVMC vice president of patient care.Debbie Martin and Christy Hoke each completed specialty certifications as Certified Medical-Surgical Nurse. Kim Watson completed certification as Certified Emergency Nurse.

Registered nurses who attain certification must fulfill a prescribed number of years' work within that specialty area in addition to successfully completing a rigorous written examination.

Certifications are generally awarded for three to five years. Renewal requires continuing education and completion of other criteria such as published articles or teaching.

Graystone center on top-50 list

Graystone Laser Refractive Surgery Center has been named one of the top 50 practices for 2005 from among more than 1,000 LaserVision practices.

LaserVision, one of the world's largest providers of laser vision services, cited Graystone for achieving one of the highest practice volumes.

Dr. Trey Oursler, Graystone's LASIK surgeon, was also named a top 100 surgeon by the company.

According to LaserVision, Oursler received the designation for his dedication to the latest technology and continuing education in refractive procedures, as well as high standards of exceptional patient care.

The company also stated that Oursler consistently performs high levels of refractive procedures and achieves superior surgical outcomes.

For information about LASIK at Graystone Ophthalmology Associates, contact Larcie Jackson at (828) 304-6606.

`Quit line' offers help with tobacco

Teens and others can get help to break the tobacco habit -- smoking or smokeless.The free, state-funded Tobacco Use Quit Line service is available to all N.C. residents daily from 8 a.m. to midnight. Trained quit coaches help tailor a cessation plan for each tobacco user who wants help, including those who use spit tobacco.

Coaching is available in English, Spanish and some other languages.

The service is provided by a grant from the N.C. Health and Wellness Trust Fund to the Catawba County Health Department and the Council on Adolescents.

Call (800) 784-8669 or the Council on Adolescents at (828) 322-4591.

Eat for Life Vegetarian Fellowship is jointly sponsored by First Baptist Church, St. Stephens Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and Hickory Seventh-day Adventist Church. The group meets at 6:30 p.m. Monday at First Baptist, 339 Second Ave. N.W., Hickory. Newcomers are welcome to bring a vegetarian covered dish and stay to hear the Rev. Malkmus and his wife, Rhonda. No charge. For details, call Lala Setzer at (828) 327-2189. For information on Malkmus' program, call (704) 481-1700 or visit

Fellowship of Food

Eat for Life Vegetarian Fellowship is jointly sponsored by First Baptist Church, St. Stephens Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and Hickory Seventh-day Adventist Church. The group meets at 6:30 p.m. Monday at First Baptist, 339 Second Ave. N.W., Hickory. Newcomers are welcome to bring a vegetarian covered dish and stay to hear the Rev. Malkmus and his wife, Rhonda. No charge. For details, call Lala Setzer at (828) 327-2189. For information on Malkmus' program, call (704) 481-1700 or visit

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Posted: Feb 22, 2006 3:48am


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