On language and ice cream

Okay, they are two separate issues, really, but I'm trying to draw you in with the ice cream (but you have to read the language stuff first, ha!)

This past weekend, we tabled at the Animal Rights 2009 conference down in Los Angeles. If you get a chance to attend, you should.

But first, Harris Ranch. I cannot talk about going to LA without the obligatory gripe on the evils of Harris Ranch in Coalinga, right off Hwy 5. Tens of thousands of cattle are "fattened" on dry-lots and slaughtered at the ranch's abattoir. The creep factor increases with the Trifecta of Harris Ranch Evil - shop, stay, dine. You can shop for body parts, stay for a honeymoon, and dine on the flesh of the very cattle who's suffering is in sight, smell and sound.

And then the conference, a breath of fresh air really. Four days of hanging out with people who get it. Plus, vegan food - must convince The Veggie Grill to live in my home and cook for me all the time. Anyway, there is nothing quite so morale-boosting as preaching to the choir. There were a lot of great speakers, panels and exhibits (us included, of course).

Which brings me to language. We, in the animal protection movement, still struggle with this issue. It pained me to hear otherwise enlightened animal activists refer to dogs, pigs, cats and other animals as "its" and "whats". They are not objects. We should call them "he", "she", "who" and never ever "it".

Practice this. When talk to people about other animals, do your best and refer to them as sentient beings, as "she is the dog who loves cookies" or "he is the pig who adores belly rubs" or "they are the cows who love grass". I know it can be a little intimidating but once you have grasped the language issue, do not be afraid to tackle (figuratively) other people. When they are talking about animals and they say "it", ask them "Oh, do you mean he or she?" - get them to consider how words can change how we feel and think.

That's my public service announcement. Now, onto the ice cream.

<--Buy me, you will not regret it

It turns out July is NATIONAL ICE CREAM month. July is also Blueberries month, National Make a Difference to Children month and National Share a Sunset with your Lover month. I feel these things can all be combined - vegan ice cream + blueberries + sharing ice cream with child/lover/sunset = yay! July 21st is also National Tug-of-War Tournament day which my dogs are VERY excited about. VEGAN ICE CREAM will be their reward,
of course. July 11 is National Cheer up the Lonely day which is easily done with VEGAN ICE CREAM.

Now where do you get vegan ice cream? Do not fear, there is nothing mystical about finding vegan ice cream - it is everywhere (which sounds mystical, but isn't). Many supermarkets these days carry Tofutti's ice cream, Rice Dream and So Delicious. My favorite is Purely Decadent Coconut ice cream. They are not lying when they say purely decadent. Now, coconut ice cream may be 40% saturated fat, but this is good, honest, tasty saturated fat so please to be making an exception for it. There is also Temptation ice cream which is tempting but also requires a long trip across country to get it - us northern Californians are hoping that will change soon, because I've heard excellent things about it (plus they have soft serve!)

So, Happy VEGAN Ice Cream month. May it be full of melty goodness.


Tamara said...

Thank you for this wonderful post. I agree 100% and have been using 'he,' 'she,' etc. for animals for a couple of years now. It now sounds totally strange to me to hear people use 'it' for an animal. I'm going to link to your post from my blog because I love what you've articulated.