Friday, August 3, 2007

Herbivore ROCKS

Herbivore is an incredible clothing business / magazine from Portland, Oregon and if you haven't been to their site yet, you should because it's FULL of beautiful clothing and articles that will make your sides hurt. I figure there's no harm in posting this article, it's free, and it talks about Terra Pass. I think I'm going to go out and buy a Terra Pass for everyone I know. Happy Reading!

BestiaPass: Wash away your vegan sins, it’s easy!

By Ryan MacMichael and Josh Hooten

Celebrities love them some TerraPass. That’s those freakin’ awesome “things” you can buy that supposedly help you undo the damage your lifestyle has inflicted on the environment. The way it works is you give money to somebody else in the world who does something GOOD (like plant trees), to fix up your BAD (like having a manure lagoon). Want to be a proud steward of the land? No need to change your behavior at all, just throw some cash at the problem. Want to be a proud steward on the Love Boat? Sorry sailor, that show went off the air years ago.

There’s no feeling quite like driving around in an SUV from one end of your gigantic house to the other and then clearing your conscience the good old fashioned American way to “offset” your carbon use. Your very beautiful and famous carbon use.

But what about us non-filthy-rich vegans? We’re generally pretty environmentally aware and do everything within our grasp to avoid supporting the exploitation or suffering of animals. But even the strictest of strict vegans will make the occasional mistake. So, in order to offset the guilt that comes with making one of these mistakes, we present an honor code-based “vegan offset” program. No need to join, just follow our simple suggestions to ease your conscious and make up for the world o’ hurt you’re causing by simply existing in the first place.

Offense: Stepping on an ant.
Offset: Pour something sweet on the ground to attract more ants. This will accomplish two things: it will ease the surviving ants mourning and benefit the ant community at large as you’re providing nourishment and a safe place to grieve. Ideally you will do this somewhere other than where you killed the ant in the first place to avoid more senseless death at the hands… no… feet… of otherwise kindly souls… no… soles. Bonus points for using agave nectar so as to extend your circle of compassion to include diabetic ants. Extra bonus points if you hang around for at least a half hour redirecting any foot traffic that may be headed for your grieving pile of shitfaced-on-agave ant mound.

Offense: Accidentally eating a snack food that you later realize had whey in the ingredient list.
Offset: Volunteer at a farm sanctuary picking up cow pies. Apologize to the female cows as you do and give them a warm, solemn, “namaste.” If you do not live close to a farm sanctuary… well… next time read the ingredient list, you big dummy. There is no other way to offset this offense. Rectify it as prescribed or burn in karmic hell for all eternity. YES YOU!

Offense: Hitting an insect with windshield of your car.
Offset: Next time, ride your bike. Avoid showering for a day or two in order to provide a welcoming sanctuary for more flies, a la Pigpen from Charlie Brown. As this offense is so common and there are already plenty of smelly vegans out there, we endorse a preventative approach to this problem. We endorse bike riding but if you must drive we recommend driving 11 miles an hour in the brake down lane everywhere you go. It has been determined scientifically that that rate of travel will not harm insects in your way it will merely bump them gently. Don’t forget to turn on your hazard lights! This is also a great time to outfit your ride with pro-AR sentiment bumper stickers as you’ll be getting so much more attention on the road… er… in the breakdown lane. Be sure you only pick REALLY persuasive slogans like “Beef: It’s what’s rotting in your colon” and perhaps a quote or two from Gandhi or Einstein.

Offense: Using a speciesist cliché like “kill two birds with one stone” or “I’m gonna stuff this albino Walrus down your pants, manbaby!”
Offset: Memorize and use the cliché’s alternative from Joanne Stepaniak’s classic Vegan Vittles (”Slice two carrots with one knife.”), no matter how cheesy. Oh, crap. There I go.

(Note: Though Josh swears he heard it several times a day growing up, no one else at the Herbivore World Headquarters has been able to verify the Walrus line is a cliché. Hence, we have no specific recommendations for offsetting that term.)

You might also offset speciesist clichés by changing them into human centric clichés to help people realize the power of language and how harmful it can be. We have found the following to be very useful in getting people to think about what we’ve said. And in many cases, to walk away very quickly, we assume to go change their ways.

Instead of: Running around like a chicken with its head cut off.
Try: Running around like I just cut your head off!

Instead of: You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.
Try: You can’t make an omelet because I’ll break your legs.

Instead of: You will catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
Try: You will serve more salads if you use money instead of lettuce. But they are very expensive salads.

Offense: Eating a little bit of honey that made its way into your bread or pretzels or whatever it was.
Offset: Next time you’re drinking a smoothie and a sweets loving bee lands on your cup, let it drink its fill. Even if this takes all day. You ate some of her food, it’s only fair. If you’ve wracked up some infractions in this category, it is always a nice gesture to put a dozen or so really tiny straws into your smoothie so the bee can invite some friends to join him.

We’re also big fans of that weird phenomenon from the 80’s that was always on programs like Real People and That’s Incredible—the beard of bees. No idea how that relates to offsetting your callous and destructive ways, but wow huh? Beard of bees!


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